Curing Fish: Salted Cod

Cod fish can be sold in several forms, fresh or dried, being very common to get cod salted and dried. Cod like every dry fish can have several types of cure, in truth each cure is separated by the humidity level of the salted cod, commercially the most common are:
- salted and dried cod fish
- semi dry cod fish
- wet salted cod fish

Salted and dried cod fish
Salted and dried cod fish is a common cure in some cultures for cod fish, this type of cure is sometimes called the Portuguese cure, being that the Portuguese culture is one of the main consumers of cod fish in the World. The Portuguese cure is basically the same as a salted and dried cure with 47% humidity level. Salt is used to preserve the cod fish, the salt content should be above 16% to guarantee a proper conservation of the cod fish. As mentioned before the humidity level is what distinguishes the types of cure, being the salted and dried cod fish having a humidity level between 45-47%.
In the past, the splitted cod fish would be dried in the sun. However today, in great part due to production requirements and also some health and safety issues, the cod fish is dried in wind tunnels, being the humidity and temperature levels controlled rigorously.
Salted and dried cod needs a refrigerated environment to preserve it's quality for a longer period, although in some countries it may not be necessary. A 4-7 ºC environment is perfect for this product, increasing it's durability. The less humidity the salted cod has the easier it is to preserve, being the salted and dried cod fish the one that has a better performance of all three types mentioned.

Semi dry cod fish or 3/4 cure
The semi dry cod fish or 3/4 cure requires the cod fish to attain a 48-50% humidity level, being the salt content as mentioned above 16%.
This type of cure is common in some Western European countries, being that it needs a refrigerated environment 4-7ºC to preserve it's quality.

Wet salted cod fish
Wet salted cod fish is very common in some cultures, it's humidity levels are higher than the ones already mentioned, and are normally between 51% and 55%, with a salt content also above 16%. Wet salted cod fish requires a more refrigerated environment being 1-4ºC adequate for this product.

We have mention three types of cure for salted cod fish, being these mentioned as the most common ones found in the market. Although cod fish is very adaptive to clients needs, you may find several differences when comparing producers, so I've provided general guidelines for cod curing.
If you purchase salted cod make sure you correctly soak it, this way you'll guarantee it's wonderful taste and flavour. You can actually read more on how to soak a salted and dried cod fish on one of my previous posts, as I have written about this important part of cod fish cooking.

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