Why Greeks eat salted cod on Independence Day anyway?

Greeks celebrate their Independence day on the 25th of March every year. A bank holiday for all, it's usually celebrated with family gatherings and of course food. The typical dish du jour is always fried salted cod called bakaliaros, accompanied with skordalia. This garlic-y sauce is a Greek version of aioli made of potato, olive oil (shocker right?) and of course garlic, sometimes enough to repel mortals too! 


photo courtesy of: www.olivemagazine.gr


If you are a regular on this blog you might already know that this is a Lent Period for Greeks, a fasting period where they are allowed to eat only boneless seafood. The reason behind this  food choice dates back to the 15th century and it has to do with the fact that on this day Greeks also celebrate a religious holiday, that of the Annunciation of Mother Mary, a joyous celebration that allows the consumption of fish and olive oil amid the 40 day fast. 

Cod is just a choice of convenience, affordability and easy preservation especially for those living in mainland Greece at that times and were unable to have easy access to fresh fish. Over the years it has transformed into an iconic dish that everyone looks forward to. 


If you happen to be in Greece circa now, don't pass on the chance to savor some bakaliaros skordalia. It could be found literally in every restaurant while the forward-thinking ones add their own twists in this classic, turning it into a sophisticated dish. 

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