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Brotherhoods of cod, the guardians of traditions – Italian Cuisine


The brotherhood is an association of the faithful. And here we are. The brotherhoods of which we want to talk are based in Triveneto – and here it could be possible to start a little more complicated: the Triveneto is indeed an ecclesiastical region, but also vulgarly the toponym of the Tre Venezie, namely the Venice of Trent, the Venice of Venice and the Venezia Giulia, an area that today corresponds to Trentino Alto Adige, Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia. The object of the adoration of these confraternities is the cod. And at this point we can really get confused: for clarifications on the difference between cod and stockfish read here, knowing that in Triveneto areversal of termininologia: here the stockfish is called baccalà.

In reality, everything is very simple: thegold adore cod, born northern cod and preserved by drying, they dedicate honors and attention to it and even a trophy, which is called Tagliapietra. Let's start from the latter, which takes its name from the Venice company among the leaders in Italy in the import, processing and trade of fish products and in particular the cod.

174046The Tagliapietra Trophy crowns the winners of the Codfish Festival. It is not the first time that we give you news of this itinerant initiative which for a few months sees the restaurants of Triveneto challenge each other on dishes whose star is obviously he, the cod (the stockfish, of course!). Last February ended its sixth edition. The finalists were the Crème caramel of stockfish, vegetable garden and old Asiago 2015; the fried potato stuffed with stockfish and black truffle; The pit stock; the Cassoeula with stockfish and cabbage tripe and the winning dish: "100% Stoccafisso: Tortelli with stockfish, brodetto and tripe of cod, wakame seaweed and purple cap", presented by Chef Renato Rizzardi of La Locanda di Piero di Montecchio Precalcino (VI).

174055But how did the Festival, the Trophy, come about? Everything comes from reading the book by Mark Kurlansky: Cod, story of a fish that changed the world. Ettore Bonalberti is struck and gives birth to the event in his mind … "The basic idea was simple: overcome the now classic use of the rapier in the Vicenza-style version and creamy Venetian style (the best of which always remains that of our mother or grandmother) and ask the restaurateurs of try new and original recipes of appetizers, first and second courses ”. And so it was, thanks also to the friendship with the two presidents of the brotherhoods of Bacalà alla Vicentina is Dogale del Mantecato. But in reality there are three Confraternities that support it.

Let's go with order. The most history, over thirty, is the Venerable Confraternity of Bacalà alla Vicentina. She is, of course, the holder of the only, original recipe that transforms the "edible mummy" into a delicious dish. Thanks to the onions, the sardines, the spoon to stir, which can rest in peace because it should never be touched, and of course thanks to the ability of the people of Vicenza to invent.

174049The Dogal Brotherhood of Baccalà Codato Mantecato was born in 2001 and is presided over by a Doge (and those who questioned him!). The Brotherhood assigns the title of Recommended Restaurant to all the restaurants that, accepting the rules imposed by the Association, undertake to prepare the product "creamed cod" according to rules of good tradition. On the other hand to bring the cod in Venice was in the 1432 its patrician and merchant citizen Piero Querini, departed from Crete with one loaded ship of malvasia, aromatic woods, spices and cotton e shipwrecked with its 68 sailors off the Lofoten islands, beyond the Arctic circle (where still today the Tagliapietra company supplies itself). There he discovered this fish dried by the icy wind of the North, which Venetian mastery managed to transform into an airy foam: the creamed cod.

Dulcis in fundo, supporter of the Festival and the Trophy is also the Vulnerable Brotherhood of the Stofiss of the Friars, goliardic association based in Rovereto, whose peculiarity is given precisely by the "confreres", who are always ready to cook, taste, toast and celebrate, especially if the main character is the cod.

Aurora Quinto
April 2019

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