C is for Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World

My C entry in the Blogging A to Z 2016 Challenge is “Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World” by Mark Kurlansky. This is not the kind of book I often read, but because I live in Newfoundland, an island settled because of the codfish, it was an appropriate one for me to read and include in this challenge.

This book tells the story of the lowly codfish – how it drove the Basques to cross the Atlantic long before Columbus, though they kept their discovery secret because they wanted the cod for themselves, how it became the basis of national diets, how it fed the Vikings on their voyages of discovery, how economies depended on it.

It tells how the island of Newfoundland was inhabitable because of it and how the people of this island suffered when a cod moratorium was brought into effect in 1992 and the Canadian government closed Newfoundland waters to groundfishing, depriving thousands of a livlihood, centuries old.

It ends with a section on cod recipes and tidbits from around the world. A Newfoundland delicacy is cod tongues!

This book is well written and informative.  Kurlansky has also written a book called “Salt: A World History”.  I must try to get my hands on this one, too.

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