How to Make Baccalà Mantecato:
A Salt Cod Spread from Venice
Baccalà Mantecato is dried salted cod, boiled it in milk with garlic and served as mash on a piece of toasted bread. A true delicacy from the Venice region.
One of my friends’ mother is a really good cook, and whenever I meet her, we always exchange recipes. As a thoroughbred Italian, she knows everything worth knowing about Italian ways of cooking, but once I got the better of her. She had asked, how I prepared baccalà or dried salted cod, and when I told her, I boiled it in milk with garlic and served it as mash on a piece of toasted bread, she looked crestfallen. That was the most unsavoury, unitalian recipe, she had ever heard of, until I took one of her cookbooks from the shelf and showed her the description of Baccalà Mantecato.
She still maintains that Veneto is so far north that their specialities might as well be ‘stranieri’, but I’m sure she would like the antipasti, if she had a chance to taste it. Everybody else does.