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X Italian Fish and Sea Food Dishes
baccala molisana
Baccala Fritto Molisana (Salt Cod Rolled in Flour)
Originated from: Casacalenda, Campobasso
Occasion: Christmas Eve (Decemeber 24th)
Contributed by: Mary Melfi

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Salt dried cod
Flour for rolling

Vegetable oil for frying


Place salted cod in water for 12 to 24 hours (depending on the size of the fish) changing the water several times during this time.

When the cod is soft and ready to cook, remove any bones attached to the fish.

Roll in flour.

Fry in hot oil. Place on paper towers and remove excess oil.

Garnish with lemon wedges. Serve warm.


Nowadays North Americans of Italian descent serve fried sea food and various types of fish on Christmas Eve, but prior to World War II those living in the countryside generally did not have elaborate dishes on Christmas Eve. While they did serve fish (The Catholic Church prohibited the eating of meat on Christmas Eve) the variety was rather limited. At my mother's house the only fish that was served was cod. This might not sound like much, but at that time, because fish was expensive, it was considered a real treat. Generally, in Molise unlike in other parts of Southern Italy the fish was simply rolled in flour. Photo: Mary Melfi.

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