As an answer to the very passionate Greek: you may love cod, but per capita, we eat the most of any country in the world. By miles. So don't try to compare to us. Just don't.
As an answer to the gentleman who thinks that tradition is on its way "out the door": with whom exactly have you been socializing?? Matriarchs who don't eat their cod? Younger people who don't really eat it unless for tradition's sake? Are you demented?? EVERYONE loves it. Young and old. You just had a freakish experience. Sorry. Not normal AT ALL. Your account of our cod eating habits is totally incorrect and you are talking of things you don't know.
As an answer to the very surprised gentleman who thinks we should do as the Spaniards and just eat Hake: we DO eat hake, and grouper, and sardines, and many other varieties of fish. Fresh. Mostly in steaks (not so much filleted, as we learn the art of removing fish bones when we are about 5 or 6, and we love boiled fish - that holds its shape much better with the bones in it). And we LOVE them!
However, the process of salting the cod imparts a very special flavour to it. Not to mention leaving it with a wonderful natural lubricant, akin to very thin mucus (sorry) between each flake - thus the importance of the size of the cod. The bigger, the bigger the steaks, the more lubrication between flakes, which makes the cod heavenly to put in the mouth. And the flakes are left.... firm, not so much like fresh fish that just disintegrates under your fork. Which makes it the ideal fish to manipulate into the many hundreds of dishes that are not made from whole steaks.
It's hard to explain, but we are not mad - we import a fish from abroad, and pay good money for it - but there's good reason. I guess you can only really understand it when you have a beautiful piece of cod in front of you, cooked with the best Portuguese olive oil, olives, onion, bay and eventually tomatoes or other additions. There's only one thing that can never be amiss: the majestic GARLIC. Without it, no cod recipe will ever come to heavenly concert in your mouth.
Hope that was helpful in understanding our obsession with cod. We have a very rich culinary tradition, are very good cooks and love to eat - therefore, believe me when I say that if we go to the trouble, it's DEFINITELY worth it. :-) Regards, Marta