Synopses & Reviews
A loving eulogy not only to a fish, but to the people whose lives have been shaped by the habits of the fish, and whose way of life is now at an end. -- New York Newsday
A delightful romp through history with all its economic forces laid bare, Cod is the biography of a single species of fish, but it may as well be a world history with this humble fish as its recurring main character. Cod, it turns out, is the reason Europeans set sail across the Atlantic, and it is the only reason they could. What did the Vikings eat in icy Greenland and on the five expeditions to America recorded in the Icelandic sagas? Cod -- frozen and dried in the frosty air, then broken into pieces and eaten like hardtack. What was the staple of the medieval diet? Cod again, sold salted by the Basques, an enigmatic people with a mysterious, unlimited supply of cod.
As we make our way through the centuries of cod history, we also find a delicious legacy of recipes, and the tragic story of environmental failure, of depleted fishing stocks where once their numbers were legendary. In this lovely, thoughtful history, Mark Kurlansky ponders the question: Is the fish that changed the world forever changed by the world's folly?
The Cod. Wars have been fought over it, revolutions triggered by it, economies and livelihoods have depended on it. This book spans 1,000 years, from the Vikings to Clarence Birdseye, and introduces the explorers, chefs and fishermen whose lives have been interwoven with this fish.
A fascinating study of the humble cod, and of the social and financial impact it has had on societies worldwide throughout history. Blending history, lore and even recipes together, it also recounts the cod wars of the 16th and 20th centuries, and explains how the most profitable fish in history is now faced with extinction.