Baccalà e Peperoni Cruschi is still a niche specialty that combines an easy preparation with a great taste

Baccalà e Peperoni Cruschi is the perfect choice for anyone who is interested in more niche specialties from the rich Italian repertoire. It is typical of the Basilicata region, but it is more specifically attributed to a particular town of the region: Avigliano, a small village in the mountains is considered the motherland of this dish.


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Baccalà, the seafood of poor people

Living in a town placed in the mountains, the inhabitants of Avigliano had to deal with the daily difficulty of getting and preserving their food. Baccalà e Peperoni Cruschi is a dish that originates from this everyday struggle, as baccalà, salt cod, was the only fish they could retrieve and preserve salted for a long time at room temperature.

Peperoni Cruschi, on the other hand, are long red peppers typical of the region, which are consumed dried and either deep fried or reduced to powder in order to give extra flavour to sausages and salumi, but the usages are numerous and various.

The very origins of this dish are, then, deeply attached to the places where it was born and, as often happens in regard to traditional cuisine, it is mainly a history of poverty and finding convenient and functional solutions.


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When to eat it

As many dishes with popular origins, Baccalà e Peperoni Cruschi, also called Baccalà alla Lucana or Baccalà all’Aviglianese from the name of its motherland, is a traditional second dish for a very specific time of the year, in this case Christmas. It is indeed considered a Christmassy dish due to its warmth and its very peculiar bittersweet taste, but it is so easy to prepare and so widely appreciated that nowadays its consumption is not limited to a specific period anymore and can be enjoyed all across the year.


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Baccalà e Peperoni Cruschi

  • 500 g salt cod
  • 300 g Peperoni Cruschi
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Chilli powder
  • Parsely
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt

Pour water on a pot and bring to a boil, then add the boneless cod fish cut in pieces. Cook on low heat for 8/10 minutes, then drain it, fillet it and place it on a serving plate.

In the meantime, heat some oil on a frying pan, then turn off the heat and add the peppers, washed and without seeds, for a few seconds. Be careful not to burn them, then add them over the salt cod, sprinkle with chilli powder and parsely and serve.

If you want to try an even tastier variant, you can try to fry the salt cod… and enjoy your meal!

Cover photo from Youtube