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There is Cod and there is “Cod”

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There is Cod and there is “Cod”

What is “cod” in Ireland?

Alaska’s treasure, for decades, was smoked Black Alaska Cod. Over time “black” disappeared and “cod” gradually became pretty much anything that wasn’t salmon.

Same with our west coast Fish and Chips. We always knew it was Ling Cod, unless the other favorite, Red Snapper, was listed as well. Now it is fish and chips, cod and chips or halibut and chips. If you ask about the cod, you will be told it is Pacific Cod, like it is something special. It isn’t. If it simply says “fish and chips” it could be any ugly bottom fish, such as we used for crab bait as kids.

So, what is “cod” in Ireland and is it anything like what you grew up with? Is there such a thing as authentic, good old-fashioned fish and chips? If so where?

28 replies to this topic
Limerick, Ireland
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1. Re: There is Cod and there is “Cod”

EU and Irish regulations stipulate that if you say something is e.g. Cod, then it must be Cod. You can't pass off a lesser fish as a greater one.

There are lots of fish and chippers around the place. Lots of fish restaurants that will serve an excellent fish and chips.

Cork, Ireland
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2. Re: There is Cod and there is “Cod”

Cod is supposed to be Atlantic Cod. However, reports suggest there are some places that are passing off Hake and Haddock as Cod, although it’s prohibited.

If you just see Fish and Chips, there’s no reason it has to be Cod, but it’s only likely to be Cod, Hake, Haddock or Plaice. A lot of chippers will sell Sole too, but it’s more expensive and will be listed separately on the menu.

There are plenty of chippers that do good fish and chips. If I was to pick out one here in Cork, it would be The Golden Fry, but good luck finding it as it’s out in the suburbs. Centrally, Quinlan’s or The Fish Wife are good options.

Edited: 17 December 2017, 22:49
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3. Re: There is Cod and there is “Cod”

This one is kosher.

www.beshoffbros.com/

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4. Re: There is Cod and there is “Cod”

blackgreen, yes, exactly. The Pacific Cod or "Catfish" as we knew it growing up, is the little half sister to your Atlantic Cod. It exists on both sides of the Pacific and varies in quality, depending on the region. Locally the same fish can be from California or Alaska but, because of the colder water, the Alaskan version is known as Alaska True Cod and has a superior flavour.

We too have Hake, Pollock and Haddock. Unless we ask what the "fish" is, you don't know what you are getting and even then, there is always the line; "The new server didn't know it's not cod."

Marketing.

In the freezer aisle, you can find two identical looking containers and unless you look closely, beneath the fancy colors, graphics and pictures, you won't notice one says "Ice Cream" the other "Frozen Dessert." The Frozen Dessert is made from vegetable oil.

Edited: 18 December 2017, 00:08
County Cork, Ireland
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5. Re: There is Cod and there is “Cod”

Canada has basically wiped out its fish stocks so it's no wonder you are confused. Cod is Atlantic Cod but unless it states cod on a menu, it's most likely haddock or hake which are still lovely fish.

I agree with the lordkimmages post, Beshoffs do amazing fish and chips.

Edited: 18 December 2017, 00:12
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6. Re: There is Cod and there is “Cod”

lordkimmage, that is funny. I was looking up "Fish and Chips in Ireland." The first hit was Beshoff Bros. and that is what brought my original question.

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7. Re: There is Cod and there is “Cod”

Yup, two things spring to mind. Great minds and fools.

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8. Re: There is Cod and there is “Cod”

Um, lordkimmage, aw, never mind...

Ventry, Ireland
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9. Re: There is Cod and there is “Cod”

Eu regulations are quite strict on labeling of fish. The fishmonger must disclose if the fish was (a) farmed - and state the country of origin and (b) wild caught and sate the catch area - e.g. North East Atlantic. Fish processors have n=been prosecuted in Ireland for false labeling

Atlantic and Pacific Pollock are of ten used as ingredients in processed foods such as fish fingers and fish pies.

In my experience the best fish and chips is to be had in fishing ports (Reel Fish in Dingle; Crabby Joe's in Howth are two that I can think of)

Dublin, Ireland
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10. Re: There is Cod and there is “Cod”

Tim,

Take away fish and chips from Beshoffs in Howth, sitting by the harbour with the salty air around you and the salty chips in your mouth = heaven!

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