Brandade (salt cod fish puree)
Cod Fish?! You said Cod Fish?
Here you are!!!
Where to find it:
First of all and traditionally in Nîmes, Languedoc-Roussillon region, Gard Departement. In the Camargue region and some other places along the littoral such as Sète, Marseilles, Toulon.
If there is dish that would represent Nîmes it would certainly be the Brandade. Brandade also known as “Brandade de morue” (“Morue” stand for Cod fish in French), is a typical food specialty from Nîmes and I would even say from almost nowhere else in France. Well you style can find some variation, however the traditional and original recipe definitely comes from Nîmes. Its name comes from the Provençal “brandar” which mean “stirred”. The Occitan name is “brandada de bacallá”. It is also possible to find similar food specialty around the Mediterranean, in Spain, Portugal or Italy.
Created in 1786, the Brandade comes in the form of a white color puree. Several brands can be found on the market going from entry level quality to very premium.
Most of the brands are good but my favorite and by far is the Brandade Raymond
Made of a refined salt cod puree, potato and olive oil, the Brandade has a very typical fishy aroma that literally smelt Mediterranean Food. As it may taste quite salty at first I suggest you to give it a try simply on a toast of bread. That being said there is a thousand ways to enjoy the Brandade de morue:
On a toast of bread, cooked with mashed potato, gratinee, on a pie, in a puff pastry etc…
It is often served in the restaurants with aioli sauce and garlic toast on the side, also with potatoes. One of the most traditional way of cooking it in Nîmes is as a gratin with potatos and herbs.
I just love brandade, it is a dish that I can eat regularly and my favorite way to enjoy it is by simply spreading it on a garlic toast with a drop of lemon! It then become the perfect appetizer or “aperitif” should I say for any local or any person who love to live like the locals! I suggest a rosé wine to go with it (Costiere de Nîmes if you want to reach the perfection) and for those who want to do it 100% local I would suggest a glass of Pastis 😉
Ben – The South of France