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In Cod We Trust: From Sea to Shore, the Celebrated Cuisine of Coastal Massachusetts Hardcover – July 15, 2015
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In Cod We Trust is one of the few cookbooks on Massachusetts coastal cuisines. Massachusetts coast recipes are uniquely delicious. If you like fish and/or seafood recipes, you’ll love this book. If you’ve never liked seafood, you may fall in love with it after tasting some of these recipes. The tantalizing photographs make it even more attractive. (The Washington BookReview)
"Food writer Heather Atwood has produced a gem of a regional cookbook featuring the many cuisines of coastal Massachusetts. This book is a delicious and fascinating mélange." (Wicked Local, MarbleHead.com)
“This book is a delicious and fascinating mélange.”
“Sure, there’s chowder and baked beans in this book, but don’t open the cover if you're looking for ‘Ye Olde New England.’ Heather Atwood doesn’t just ‘get’ what is great about what’s happening with New England food ways––she is a guiding beacon shining her light on the beauty and traditions of this quirky part of the world. She has managed to codify her delicious and respectful enthusiasm into a collection of inspired recipes and thoughtful stories that celebrate talents and traditions. I’m talking about fluke from Martha’s Vineyard, scallops from Nantucket, and shrimp from Maine. There’s quince and cranberry jelly, strawberry shortcake, as well as instructions for Joe Frogger’s and Hog’s Back Son of a Seacook––no explanation: you’ll have to buy the book to find out!”
––Annie B. Copps, food writer, chef, and culinary instructor (and proud New Englander)
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Whether or not you are a cook, this book is a must-have for anyone who loves coastal Massachusetts. I'm sure I'll be spending more afternoons blissfully lost in it.
In Cod We Trust is a colorful, mouth-watering trip along the Massachusetts coastline, from Buzzard’s Bay to Newburyport, pointing out spots and people all along the coast who have a part in the rich mélange of Portuguese, Sicilian, Finnish and old Yankee cooking that one may find here.
Heather has researched her subject well. She’s obviously spent time with Finns in Lanesville and Cape Cod, Portuguese and Azoreans in New Bedford and Gloucester, Italians and Sicilians in Gloucester, and plain old Yankees up and down the coast. She’s pulled out old recipes, and talked to people who prepare, sell or just eat food, and learned the back stories to some dishes.
The title of the book is about Cod, and cod, or bacalhau, baccal, bacalao, is a fish that everyone along this coast can relate to, and can connect to their home country.
Heather’s intensive investigation has brought up the last remaining dairy in Westport, Shy Brothers’ Farms, turning to a cheese product they now make, as huge dairy companies gobble up small producers. She points out Russell Orchards in Ipswich, the last of a dozen apple orchards along Argilla Road, and then offers a recipe from an old Ipswich cook book for Argilla Road Apple Pie.
This is first a cookbook, but it’s also a fascinating food history.
Of course, there’s a segment on clams, from the clambakes that Agawam and Wampanoag tribes have been throwing for celebrations for many centuries, to the discovery of how good fried clams are, starting with Chubby and Bessie of Woodman’s in Essex.
There are many recipes, and many tales that relate how the Portuguese brought their food here. Those Portuguese are mostly those from the Azores, now an autonomous part of Portugal two thirds of the way from New Bedford to Lisbon, and there are also Cape Verdeans, from a former Portuguese colony off the coast of northwestern Africa. Heather includes mouth-watering recipes like Clams Bulhão Pato, Hake Molho de Vilão, Sopa do Espirito Santo, a soup with beef, a shin bone, and chourico; and Cacoila, a spicy pork stew.
On Martha’s Vineyard Heather drew a recipe for Cranberry Crumble from Gladys Widdis, an elder with the Wampanoag Tribe. Also included is a Spring Garlic Soup from Martha’s Vineyard. I remember having garlic soup in Lisbon—it’s a meal that stays with you, and everyone around you.
From Nantucket Heather offers Fresh Corn and Coconut Soup, and from an 1874 cook book, Nantucket Corn Pudding, which she calls “the Cinderella of corn puddings.”
Heather's time with Finns who live near her home in Folly Cove, Rockport, and more Finns on Cape Cod, produced several recipes like Kropsua, Baked Pancakes, from Lanesville, Rice Pudding, from Rockport’s Spiran Lodge, andLanttulaatikko, a rutabaga casserole.
Heather draws upon a rich acquaintance with Gloucester as she tells about Lobsterman Geno Mondello and his quiet hospitality on Gloucester harbor. She offers his recipe for Cod Cakes with a homemade béchamel sauce. Of course there have to be lobster recipes, and she offers Mortillaro’s Baked Stuffed Lobster, which, with a photo by Allan Penn, looks fantastic.
Heather returns home to Rockport to tell about lobster rolls, chicken salad in a jar, a Rockport version of Vietnamese pickles, and Anadama, a Rockport original bread, made with molasses. Perhaps in the next edition she could tell more about the Anadama lady, Melissa Smith, and her fabled pies that she always sold at events in Millbrook Meadow. She might even include the story of the time the pigs at Nugent’s piggery got loose and invaded the Anadama bakery.
It’s a wonderful sweep of delightful eating over the centuries, and a book that tells you how much people from all over the world have brought to the table here.
This book is not only a resource in the kitchen for making food for real people (you know what I mean: the is not one of those cookbooks with recipes only a photographer would love), but is also a visual treasure that you would be proud to display on a coffee table or in a guest room. It would also make a great gift to your host on Cape Ann as it contains many gems of local color that not even long-term locals know about.
ethnic recipes from the communities which contributed their finest recipes. The few that I have tried have been
delightful. It's like discovering new foods while cooking at home.