The Valley of the River Douro is famed for its wines around the world, but in Portugal its olives are also highly prized. The black, slightly bitter olives of the Douro area make good olive oil, and in Portugal olive oil is a condiment, prized for its flavor. So, when you mix salt cod, one of the most beloved foods in the Portuguese pallet of cuisine with olive oil… well the result is the famed Bacalhau à Lagareiro. In the old days in the Lagar, or olive oil presses, workers would cook their cod fish in the ashes of the press, and season it with fresh oil and olives. The recipe spread from the presses, and became one of the great Portuguese cod dishes; cod, fire roasted, and served with lots of rich olive oil, back olives and boiled potatoes. I had this dish some years back at the Califa Restaurant in Mogadouro, with a piece of cod that had to be five inches thick. This true northern recipe is not only a delicacy, but it reminds one of the hard working, practical sprit of the green mountains and white towns of the North. What do you drink with Bacalhau à Lagareiro? A glass of red wine from the Douro region, of course!