Seafood: Cod, Alaskan

Cod, Alaskan

The Alaskan Cod is a white fish also known as “Pacific cod” and is related to the Atlantic Cod, though it’s hard to imagine the two groups ever meeting at reunions. Prized for its mild flavor and a firm yet flaky texture, this catch often ends up as fish and chips.

The cod that is caught in the eastern Pacific by North American fishermen receive high marks for the “sustainable” manner in which it is caught: the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch lists it as a “best choice” if caught with a bottom longline, handline or trap, and a “good alternative” if caught using the “trawl” approach. The western Pacific approach to catching this tasty creature is similar to strip mining and carries a sternest warning possible from the aquarium, and that is to avoid it. Always look for Alaskan or Eastern Pacific cod.

Foreign vessels fishing for cod in US waters were banished as of 1991 and the cod population has been thriving ever since. It ranks second to pollock as the biggest catch off the coast of Alaska, the source of most of the cod we buy today.

Cod liver oil actually comes from the cod liver. Amazing. The liver provides a rich source of vitamins A, D and E, and is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and comes in capsule form that should not be chewed for any reason. Ever. The fish itself, however, is very tasty, is low in fat and high in protein.

The fish are caught and frozen as quickly as possible to lock in the flavor. Available year round, it’s an excellent value since since the fillets are skinless and boneless when you buy them. When you consider how good they taste and all of their nutritional benefits, serving Alaskan cod to the family is a smart idea.

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