Cod – Interesting Facts

Cod is common amongst all the countries that surround the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and the North Atlantic. In Switzerland, cod is often referred to as the leopard of the Baltic Sea because of its speckled and varied colouring. Atlantic cod and the Pacific cod are the two most common varieties that can be found in the two neighbouring oceans.

Common to all species of cod is its low-fat, white flesh and its light salty taste. The fish is rich in vitamin B12, vitamin D, potassium, phosphorous and iodine. Due to the culinary popularity of cod in so many places, it is in danger of being overfished. To avoid such overfishing, be sure to purchase cod from sustainable fisheries with the MSC seal of approval.

Food Facts Food Facts

Cod

Class

Gadidae

Calories

80 kcal per 100 g

Nutrients

0.4g fat, 18.1g protein per 100 g

Season

autumn months

Storage

refrigerator

Shelf life

max. 3 days

Cod – Uses and Characteristics

Cod is a migratory fish that likes to forage in colder waters but to spawn in warmer waters. The leopard of the Baltic Sea usually has a speckled skin but its colour is dependent on its environment - if there is lots of seaweed in its habitat, the silvery fish can have a somewhat greenish appearance, and if there is a lot of algae in its habitat, it can take on a reddish to golden brown colour. The streamlined body of the cod can measure up to 2 metres long and can weigh up to 100 kilos, but the average cod is a lot smaller and lighter.

Dried cod has been around in the Northern countries for a long time and is now also loved in countries like Spain and Portugal. Dried cod does not lose any of its nutritional value, just its water content. When soaked for several hours, the dried cod can return to its soft and tender state. It is said that the cod liver oil trick, that was popular amongst our grandmother’s generation, is no longer as healthy as it used to be – its fatty acid levels can fluctuate, it contains too high a dose of vitamins A and D and may also contain toxic materials. 

Cod – Shopping and Preparation

When buying a whole fish and not just the frozen cod fillets, then make sure that it has a neutral or a faint smell of the sea but it should not smell too fishy. Fresh cod should have clear and bright eyes and bright red gills. The fish is great grilled or also baked in aluminium foil with herbs, olive oil, lemon pieces, and a few cherry tomatoes.

Whether using whole cod or filleted cod, the fish is generally easy to prepare. It can be cut into small pieces and used in bakes or a ragout, or steamed in an ovenproof dish, and last but not least, fried. It tastes great with tomatoes, spinach, and many herbs, and is possibly the tastiest when cooked in a white wine sauce and topped with cream or crème fraiche.

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