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Distributed for Reaktion Books


A Global History

From Viking fisheries to Portuguese bacalao and beyond, a delectable and informative journey through cod fact, cuisine, and lore.
This is the first culinary history of a truly remarkable fish. Elisabeth Townsend follows cod around the globe, showing how its pursuit began with the Vikings, and exploring its influence on human affairs ever since. The book looks at the different ways cod has been caught, cooked, and eaten, often by the descendants of explorers, enslaved people, and traders. Cod examines the fish in the myths and legends of the North Atlantic, the West Indies, South America, West and Southeast Africa, and across the Indian Ocean to the Far East. It is a fascinating journey through cod fact and lore and features delectable historical and contemporary recipes that showcase the myriad ways cod can be consumed.

180 pages | 48 color plates, 12 halftones | 4 3/4 x 7 3/4


Food and Gastronomy

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Cod is an engaging celebration of the history, ecology, and deliciousness of an extraordinary fish that has sustained people worldwide for centuries, and a heartfelt plea for its future survival.”

Darra Goldstein, founding editor of "Gastronomica" and author of "Beyond the North Wind"

“Through a human lens, Townsend puts focus on this iconic fish, which has shaped our history, fed societies, and fueled economies for centuries. Richly illustrated, well-researched—no one has told the story better.”

George A. Rose, honorary professor, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, University of British Columbia

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