Trader Joe's Bacalhau Tartlettes Are Based On A Classic Portuguese Fish Dish

One of the perks of grocery shopping at Trader Joe's is the many specialty items inspired by a range of international cuisines. We've all probably seen (and eaten) its frozen mandarin orange chicken, potstickers, tamales, and an array of Indian foods like samosas and chicken curry. Out of all those options, perhaps one of the more unknown items is its newly-released Portuguese bacalhau tartlettes. They're made of all-butter crust tarts filled with bechamel, egg yolks, potato, and salted cod mixed with onion, garlic, nutmeg, and piri piri chilis, per Trader Joe's website.

At the first mention, you might think eating tarts filled with salted cod sounds strange, but it's actually a rendition of a classic Portuguese fish dish. The original dish is called pastéis de bacalhau, or salted cod fritters. The dish is traditionally made with salted cod, potato chunks, onion, and parsley or cilantro that are formed into oblong fritters and fried. You can eat them as a snack, hot or cold, served with a lemon wedge or tartar sauce. You'll find them across Portugal and in places with thriving Portuguese communities around the world.

Trying TJ's Portuguese-inspired bacalhau tartlettes

Speaking of Pasteis de Nata, the iconic grocer says its bacalhau tartlettes are made by the same supplier of its Portuguese custard tarts, so if you've ever tried those, expect the same authentic flavors. Custard tarts, or pasteis de nata, are also an integral part of Portuguese cuisine, so we think this is almost like a fusion of the two traditional dishes.

The cod-filled tarts also come frozen, so you'll need to preheat your oven and cook at 375 degrees Fahrenheit before you take a bite. Trader Joe's recommends serving them with fresh lemon wedges, just like those traditional fritters that might have inspired these frozen treats. Pair them with a glass of chilled wine to kick off a meal or to serve at your next cocktail party.

The Portuguese bacalhau tartlettes come in a 9.3-ounce box for $4.99 plus taxes where applicable. A suggested serving size is four pieces, which contains 340 calories, 20 grams of fat, 85 milligrams of cholesterol, and 410 milligrams of sodium. And in case you have any allergies, the buttery cod-filled tarts contain milk, egg, and wheat. If you want to try the tarts, Trader Joe's recommends checking out your closest location for updated availability and pricing.