Place of origin
Caldeirada is a Portuguese fish stew consisting of a wide variety of fish and potatoes, along with other ingredients. A fishermen's stew, the dish has been described as "a grand and glorious fish muddle that varies from town to town and depends on what the fisherman have managed to catch."
One cookbook states that the dish typically consists of "a fifty-fifty mix of lean and oily fish" along with shellfish such as clams and mussels, and often squid or octopus as well. This recipe used two kinds of oily fish (such as mackerel, swordfish, or tuna) and two kinds of lean whitefish (such as cod, monkfish, hake, flounder, and haddock), plus shrimp, mussels in the shell, and squid.
One cookbook gives as a typical assortment in a caldeirada conger eel, angel shark, sea bass or sea bream, red gurnard, sardines, ray, shrimp, and clams. One cookbook recommends about 11 ounces of fish per person. Other components of the dish include vegetables (such as potatos, onions, green peppers, tomatoes, and tomato purée or tomato paste); spices (such as salt and black pepper, bay leaf, coriander, parsley, sweet paprika, or oregano), and other ingredients (such as vermicelli, olive oil, port wine, white wine, and whisky or brandy). Some recipes do not add salt to caldeirada, because the brininess of the shellfish already adds salt.
- Ilí Lacerda, The Secrets of Portuguese Cookery (2009), p. 45.
- Maria Jose Sevilla, Life and Food in the Basque Country (New Amsterdam Books, 1998), p. 66.
- Jean Anderson, Food of Portugal (HarperCollins, 1994), p. 112.
- William Black, Al Dente: The Adventures of a Gastronome in Italy (Transworld, 2004), p. 63.
- David Quammen, The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions (Simon & Schuster, 2011), p. 469.