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Jewish Recipes --> Jewish and Israeli Foods --> Kosher Fish --> Cod


Cod is the common name for genus Gadus, belonging to the family Gadidae, and is also used in the common name for various other fish. Cod is popular as a food with a mild flavour and a dense, flaky white flesh. Cod livers are processed to make cod liver oil, an important source of vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA).

The northeast Arctic cod, which is traditionally fished when approaching the coast during spawning, are sometimes called skrei. These cod are currently listed as an endangered species on the IUCN's Red List[2] as well as by Greenpeace. Young Atlantic cod or haddock prepared in strips for cooking is called scrod. In the United Kingdom, Atlantic cod is one of the most common ingredients in fish and chips, along with haddock and plaice. It is also frequently consumed in Portugal, Spain and Italy. Cod flesh is moist and flaky when cooked and is white in colorr.

The Atlantic cod, which can change color at certain water depths, has two distinct color phases: gray-green and reddish brown. Its average weight is 512 kilograms (1126 lb), but specimens weighing up to 100 kilograms (220 lb) have been recorded. Cod feed on molluscs, crabs, starfish, worms, squid, and small fish. Some migrate to warm water in winter to spawn. A large female lays up to five million eggs in mid ocean, a very small number of which survive. Pacific or saltwater cod are also found around the coast of British Columbia, Canada and the northwestern US coastal areas. These fish are smaller their eastern counterparts and are darker in color.

Species

At various times in the past, taxonomists incorrectly included many species in Gadus. The great majority of these are now either classified in other genera, or have been recognized as simply forms of one of three species.

True cod

Modern taxonomy recognizes three species in this genus as true cod:

Gadus macrocephalus - Pacific cod
Gadus morhua - Atlantic cod
Gadus ogac - Greenland cod

All these species have a profusion of common names, most of them including the word "cod". Many common names have been used of more than one species, in different places or at different times.

Related species

Cod forms part of the common name of many other fish no longer classified in the genus Gadus. Many are members of the family Gadidae; others are members of three related families within the order Gadiformes whose names include the word "cod": the morid cods, Moridae (100 or so species); the eel cods, Muraenolepididae (four species); and the Eucla cod, Euclichthyidae (one species). The tadpole cod family (Ranicipitidae) has now been placed in Gadidae.

Gadiformes include:
  • Arctic cod Arctogadus glacialis
  • East Siberian cod Arctogadus borisovi
  • Eucla cod Euclichthys polynemus
  • Ling Molva molva
  • Pelagic cod Melanonus gracilis
  • Polar cod Boreogadus saida
  • Poor cod Trisopterus minutus
  • Rock cod Lotella rhacina
  • Saffron cod Eleginus gracilis
  • Small-headed cod Lepidion microcephalus
  • Tadpole cod Guttigadus globosus

Some fish have common names derived from "cod", such as codling, codlet or tomcod. ("Codling" is also used as a name for a young cod.)

Other species

Some fish commonly known as cod are unrelated to Gadus. Part of this name confusion is market-driven. Severely shrunken Atlantic cod stocks have led to the marketing of cod replacements using names of the form "x cod", according to culinary rather than phyletic similarity. The common names for the following species have become well established; note that all inhabit the Southern Hemisphere. The cods have the scientific name,'Gadus morhua'. Gadus morhua was named by Linnaeus in 1758. However, G. morhua callarias, a low salinity, non-migratory race restricted to parts of the Baltic, was originally described as Gadus callarias by Linnaeus.

Perciformes

Fish of the order Perciformes that are commonly called "cod" include:

Blue cod Parapercis colias
Eastern freshwater cod Maccullochella ikei
Mary River cod Maccullochella peelii mariensis
Murray cod Maccullochella peelii peelii
Potato cod Epinephelus tukula
Sleepy cod Oxyeleotris lineolatus
Trout cod Maccullochella macquariensis
The cod icefish family, Nototheniidae, including:
Antarctic cod Dissostichus mawsoni
Black cod Notothenia microlepidota
Maori cod Paranotothenia magellanica

Rock cod, reef cod, and coral cod

Almost all coral cod, reef cod or rock cod are also in order Perciformes. Most are better known as groupers, and belong to the family Serranidae. Others belong to the Nototheniidiae. Two exceptions are the Australasian red rock cod, which belongs to a different order (see below), and the fish known simply as the rock cod and as soft cod in New Zealand, Lotella rhacina, which as noted above actually is related to the true cod (it is a morid cod).

Scorpaeniformes

From the order Scorpaeniformes:

Ling cod Ophiodon elongatus
Red rock cod Scorpaena papillosa
Rock cod Sebastes

Ophidiiformes

The tadpole cod family, Ranicipitidae, and the Eucla cod family, Euclichthyidae, were formerly classified in the order Ophidiiformes, but are now grouped with the Gadiformes.

Marketed as cod

Some fish that do not have "cod" in their names are sometimes sold as cod. Haddock and whiting belong in the same family, the Gadidae, as cod.

Haddock Melanogrammus aeglefinus
Whiting Merlangius merlangus

Identification

Cod have three rounded dorsal and two anal fins. The pelvic fins are small, with the first ray extended, and are set under the gill cover (i.e. the throat region), in front of the pectoral fins. The upper jaw extends over the lower jaw, which has a well-developed chin barbel. The eyes are medium sized, approximately the same as the length of the chin barbel. Cod have a distinct white lateral line running from the gill slit above the pectoral fin, to the base of the caudal or tail fin. The back tends to be a greenish to sandy brown, and shows extensive mottling, especially towards the lighter sides and white belly. Dark brown coloration of the back and sides is not uncommon, especially for individuals that have resided in rocky inshore regions.

Breeding

Cod divide into several stocks, including the Arcto-Norwegian, North Sea, Faroe, Iceland, East Greenland, West Greenland, Newfoundland, and Labrador stocks. There seems to be little interchange between the stocks, although migrations to their individual breeding grounds may involve distances of 200 miles (320 km)or more.

Spawning occurs between January and April (March and April are the peak months), at a depth of 200 metres (660 ft) in specific spawning grounds at water temperatures between 4 and 6 C (39 and 43 F). Around the UK, the major spawning grounds are in the middle to southern North Sea, the start of the Bristol Channel (north of Newquay), the Irish Channel (both east and west of the Isle of Man), around Stornoway, and east of Helmsdale.

Prespawning courtship involves fin displays and male grunting[citation needed], which leads to pairing. The male inverts himself beneath the female, and the pair swim in circles while spawning. The eggs are planktonic and hatch between eight and 23 days, with larva reaching 4 millimetres (0.16 in) in length. This planktonic phase lasts some ten weeks, enabling the young cod to increase its body weight by 40-fold, and growing to about 2 centimetres (0.79 in). The young cod then move to the seabed and change their diet to small benthic crustaceans, such as isopods and small crabs. They increase in size to 8 centimetres (3.1 in) in the first six months, 1418 centimetres (5.57.1 in) by the end of their first year, and to 2535 centimetres (9.814 in) by the end of the second. Growth tends to be less at higher latitudes. Cod reach maturity at about 50 centimetres (20 in) at about 3 to 4 years of age.

Habitat

Cod occupy varied habitat, favoring rough ground, especially inshore, and are demersal in depths between 20 and 200 feet (6.1 and 61 m), 80 metres (260 ft) on average, although not uncommonly to depths of 600 metres (2,000 ft). Off the Norwegian and New England coasts and on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, cod congregate at certain seasons in water of 3070 metres (98230 ft) depth. Cod are gregarious and form schools, although shoaling tends to be a feature of the spawning season.

Diet

Adult cod are active hunters, feeding on sand eels, whiting, haddock, small cod, squid, crabs, lobsters, mussels, worms, mackerel, and molluscs. Young cod avoid larger prey.

Sept 2005 - 2014 - Kosher Recipes - Kosher Cooking - Jewish Cooking - Jewish Recipes - Jewish Foods - Kosher Recipes