CARP, HERRING AND COD, THREE IMPORTANT FISH SPECIES IN THE FOOD HISTORY OF EUROPE

Fish market
Fish market
© Giraudon

Salting od cod
Salting of cod
© Barbaroux/IFREMER

Carp and eel were the fresh fish that could be found on the market in the Middle Age. The Church-imposed obligation to avoid eating meat during some 150 days a year strongly contributed to developing fish production and the use of ponds and dams.

In the XIth and XIIth centuries, conservation methods like smoking, salting, and drying allowed for the large European cities to be provided with fish. This flourishing trade made the prosperity of the Hanseatic cities of Germany like Hamburg.

The trade of cod developed later, during the XVth century, because the main fishing areas in the Atlantic Ocean required tours of several months duration. Cod consumption has remained particularly important in some countries like Portugal.