Everything you always wanted to know about cod

TYPE: Gadus morhua

BEST FISHING SEASONS: Cod generally in the winter months, Skrei from January to April

PREPARATION: Fried, steamed or baked

RELATED: Pacific cod, pollack



Cod is known for its mild, slightly salty flavor and juicy, firm flesh. The texture of cod is rather meaty and firm and can be easily fried or steamed. Cod's neutral flavor makes it ideal for a variety of cooking methods and combines easily with different flavors and spices. It is a popular choice in the kitchen for oven dishes or as an ingredient in soups and stews.

Cod is one of the best known and most popular food fish. In fact, it is known by different names: cod and skrei. You will find out why this is the case below.

Cod is a member of the cod family (Gadidae). The fish are predominantly native to the colder waters of the North Atlantic. They prefer cooler temperatures and are typically found at depths of 50 to 200 meters. They often migrate back and forth between their spawning and feeding areas. The physique is characterized by an elongated body with a broad head and a distinctive mouth. A beard thread and a light line on the otherwise grayish-brown skin are also typical.

A special cod is the skrei, also called Norwegian winter cod. This cod lives in the cold, arctic Barents Sea and migrates over 1000 km to the Norwegian Lofoten Islands every spring to spawn. There the 5 to 7 year old fish are caught particularly gently with hooks and longlines and immediately processed according to strict specifications. In order to guarantee quality and secure stocks, the Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC) controls the catches and declares suitable fish as skrei. Winter cod is particularly popular in star restaurants and is considered a seasonal highlight.

A particular specialty is bacalao , the preparation of dried and salted cod, which is particularly popular in various Mediterranean countries. The peculiarity of bacalao cod lies in its intense salty taste and the chewy texture of the fish after drying. Soaking the salted cod before cooking makes it tender again and can be used in various dishes such as stews, casseroles or salads.

Although its name suggests a relationship, the black cod is not related to the cod. The so-called coalfish is also a popular and special food fish, but it belongs to the silkfish family and lives in the deep waters of the Pacific.

Cod in detail


From mouth to fin

You can recognize the cod by the bright side line and a pronounced chinbeard.

From mouth to fin

You can recognize the cod by the bright side line and a pronounced chinbeard.

Fun fact:

Adult cod almost always live benthic (near the seabed), whereas juveniles live pelagically (in open water).