The Columbian Exchange.

The Most Important Event in Culinary History

When Christopher Columbus bumped into that isolated Caribbean island, he started a chain of events that changed every cuisine on the planet. Not since the discovery of fire has the wold’s food-ways been so dramatically effected. Think of Italian cuisine without the tomato, Portuguese cuisine without the potato. Speaking of the potato, how about German cuisine or Polish cuisine without the potato or paprika. Without the foods of the New World the rest of the planet would be without the capsicum pepper, peanuts, sweet potatoes, turkeys, vanilla, chocolate, and a host of other products. But the trade, now called the “Colombian Exchange” worked both ways. Think of South American cooking without pork or chicken. That means no lard for tortillas. Think of North American cuisine without beef, cream, butter, or cheese; without barbecue or fried chicken.  All of these foods, and many others, were imported to the New World by European explorers.

Discover the amazing range of recipes for Bacalao, also called Salt Cod. The famous author Mark Kurlanski once called Cod “the fish that changed the world.” It is also the fish that drove Christopher to the New World.

There is a world of flavor and technique to explore. Join in with your recipes. Remember, if you contribute a recipe on these pages you are authorizing the unrestricted use of that recipe by others . If you include your name with your recipe you will get credit in any further use of that recipe by us.

We have created five primary recipe categories to explore this clash of cultures: Recipes From Basqueland, Recipes From Spain, Recipes from Portugal and Madeira, Recipes from Italy, Recipes from the New World, and Salt Cod Recipes (in this category recipes from around the world that feature salt cod will be included). There are many  cultures affected by The Exchange, and perhaps in the future we will expand the recipe collection to include others. Meanwhile, look through the list and see if there is anything you like. The offerings will grow as we add more recipes in each category. If you would like to join the conspiracy, send us a recipe.

If you have a recipe that fits into one of these categories and is either a recipe using only ingredients available prior to the Columbian Exchange, or highlights foods that became available in that area as a result of the Exchange, please contribute. We will evaluate the recipe for accuracy and assign it to the appropriate category.

Please title your recipe this way:   Your name, the country or region it represents, and either pre- or post- Columbian, and the recipe title.  Here is an example.

John Maxwell, Spain, Pre-Columbian, Ajo Blanco. If you would prefer not to have your name associated with the recipe, let us know and when we edit it your name will be removed but added to our list of contributors.  Your recipe may become a part of one of the cookbooks planned for this project. By submitting a recipe you are agreeing for the recipe to be  used in whatever way we choose, and that you understand there will be no compensation beyond print recognition either as author of the recipe, as a contributor to the book, or both. You will, however, become a Contributing Member of the Bacalao Conspiracy.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *