Dried cod has played a similar role to sugar in the international chain of commerce. It became a major traded commodity between British North America (Newfoundland, Nova Scotia Gaspe) in the nineteenth century. Cheap cod fed the slaves who grew and produced the sugar (and coffee and cotton) which in turn energised the workers of the Industrial Revolution who worked the machines which made the commodities of empire. The machines in factories and their output provided the material basis of Empire. Sugar and cod were important in the cultures of Britain, Newfoundland, the West Indies, West Africa and Brazil. Demand (tastes) and (low) price dictated that salted cod would become a main staple in the West Indies and Brazil even though ample supplies of fresh fish existed locally.
Herold, Marc W., “Nineteenth-Century Bahia’s Passion for British Salted-Cod: From the Seas of Newfoundland to the Portuguese Shops of Salvador’s Cidade Baixa, 1922-1914” (London: Commodity of Empire Working Paper No. 23, Ferguson Centre, University College London, June 2015), 32 pp. ISSN: 1756-0098 at http://www.commodityhistories.org/resources/working-papers/nineteenth-century-bahias-passion-british-salted-cod-seas-newfoundland (this is an extended version of a paper published earlier in Portuguese)
Attribution - Non-Commercial - Share-Alike 2.0 England and Wales https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/legalcode