Processing Cod

HISTORY OF THE GREAT FISHERY OF NEWFOUNDLAND By Robert de Loture Marine Academy, Paris Gallimard First Edition Copyright by Librairie Gallimard, 1949 Translated from the French by Clyde C. Taylor U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Woods Hole, Massachusetts

As soon as landed on the wharf, the cod passed to a convenient cutting table where they were headed, gutted, split and washed. Th”e fish, opened flat by the operation of splitting, were immediately salted. For that, they were piled orderly. head to tail, each cod being vigorously rubbed with salt. then covered with a layer of salt proportional to its weight. These piles, protected from inclement weather by canvas tarpaulins, remained thus for eight days at the end of which time they constituted the green-salted cod, ready to undergo the long process of drying. To proceed to the latter, the cod, after a careful washing, were laid out, flesh up, on the beach, or, sometimes, on wooden platforms built on posts two or three feet above the ground. Thus exposed during the first day of preparation, they took the “first sunning 11 • The second day the cod were again laid out on by on on the beach. They took the “second sunning” until noon~ after which they were assembled three by three. On the third day, a third exposure, which lasted the day, constituted the “third sunning 11 • At nightfall they were formed into bunells of eight called “gavelottes” . The “fourth sunning” was given in the same condition as the pr ceding. On the evening of the fifth sunning, the cod were gathered in larger bundles, the “moutons”. At the end of the day of the 11 sixth sunning”, the cod were amassed in piles of about fifty hundredweight, named “meulons” (haystacks). They were left thus for 6 to 12 days. At the end of this time, the cod were again laid on the beach. This was the seventh sunning, a day in which the piles were reformed in a fashion such that the less dry fish were placed in the upper part. Fifteen days later, the eighth sunning was given in conditions identical to that of the preceding; then one waited a month to give the ninth sunning. The preparations were then terminated and the drying had been so effective that cod thus treated could be sent to the hottest country without fear of spoiling in the course of the voyage. The drying completed by this method required a period of almost four months. It could, then, be applied only to cod captured during the first part of the season. As the date of departure approached the fish under.went a drying more and more incomplete. It became, then, an article of regional exportation or of local consumption on the return home. The last cod caught were put in boxes green-salted in the manner in which the bank boats practiced it.