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Cod: Main Image

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Quality cod is easy to recognize. Fresh cod never smells fishy, and the eyes should appear bright and clear, almost alive. The gills should be clean, and the skin moist and with tightly adhering, shiny scales. Fresh cod flesh will give slightly when you press it with a finger, then spring back into shape.


Atlantic cod, the mainstay of the New England fishery, is a lean, sweet fish, available fresh, or dried as salt cod, sometimes called bacalao. Pacific cod, also known as true cod, is caught in Pacific waters from California to Alaska and is often sold as frozen fillets. Haddock is a small, North Atlantic member of the cod family that has a delicate taste. Atlantic pollock, fished in New England waters, has a strong, sweet taste. Alaska pollock, also called wall-eye pollock, has white flesh and a firm texture and is often used in surimi. Cusk is a New England fish with chewy flesh. Whiting and hake, caught around the world, have flesh that’s somewhat soft.

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The information presented in the Food Guide is for informational purposes only and was created by a team of US–registered dietitians and food experts. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements, making dietary changes, or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2016.

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