Fished throughout the cold waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic by both line and trawl, cod is one of the most important commercial fish in the northern hemisphere. Members  of the cod or Gadidae family can be identified by a distinct three-fin-dorsal  pattern. They are “white” fish, with the main concentration of oil being found in the liver, so the flesh is low in fat. The flesh colour varies, but cod is renowned for having well-flavoured flesh that, when cooked, offers succulent and sweet flakes. Popular members of this group are caught  to quota and a minimum size. Sustainability issues are a cause for concern, so cod farming has recently begun to develop as an industry

Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua)

Also known as codling, sprag, or scrod, Atlantic cod is one of the largest members of the Gadidae family. It is identified by a white lateral line, green-yellow marbled skin that fades to white on the belly, and a square tail. This species can grow to 1.5m (5ft). Atlantic cod is fished extensively by North America, many European countries, and Scandinavia. This fish has white, chunky flakes with a sweet seafood taste. Commonly used deep-fried in fish and chips but excellent poached for fish pie and baked with a crust.

Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus)

Also known as Alaska cod, grey cod, Ttue cod, or treska brown, Pacifi cod has dark mottled skin and a pale belly. It can grow to over 2m (6½ft) and is found in the North Pacifi and Pacific Rim. It is fihed by the US, China, Japan, Canada, and Korea, is exported to Europe, and is enjoyed in North and South America and also in the Caribbean. Excellent for fih and chips, poaching, and grilling

Poor cod (Trisopterus minutus capelanus)

Also known as capelan, poor cod can grow to 40cm (16in) and is fished commercially across the Eastern Atlantic as far as the Atlantic coast in the Mediterranean, and is popular in southern Europe. Much like whiting, soft, white, delicate, with a low fat content. Good pan fried, steamed, or baked.

CUTS Whole (gutted, with head on or off); fillet; steak. Atlantic cod: head; cheek; tongue; roe; liver; air bladder/”sounds”. Some cod are also salted, dried, and smoked. 

EAT Cooked: Deep-fry or pan-fry in batter or breadcrumbs; bake; poach in stock or milk; use chopped flesh for soup or chowder; grill fillets or whole fish. Preserved: Cold smoked (dyed and undyed); salted; dried.

ALTERNATIVES Cod is endangered in some parts of the world. The following fish can be used interchangeably: haddock, pollack, saithe (coley), whiting, and pouting.

FLAVOUR PAIRINGS Dill, parsley, bay leaf, lemon, olive oil, tomatoes, olives, capers, garlic, breadcrumbs, butter.

CLASSIC RECIPES Deep-fried fish and chips; brandade; taramasalata; cod in parsley sauce.


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