Norwegian Cod

Norwegian Cod

Norwegian Cod is known as Norway’s “white gold”. Renowned for its delicate white color, flaky structure and superior flavor, it’s one of the most common and economically important marine fishes in Norway. 

  • General Information

    • Availability: Year-round

    • Premium Season: January – April (Skrei)

    • Vikings:

      • Stockfish, often made from Norwegian Cod, was exported from Norway before the Viking Era and formed an important part of the Viking’s life.

      • Stockfish financed Viking expeditions and made their conquests possible.

  • Wild-Caught

    • Catch Methods:

      • In a typical year the Norwegian Cod catch is made up of about:

        • 30% Trawling

        • 30% Gill net

        • 15% Longline

        • 15% Danish seine

        • 10% Hand line

    • Fishing Locations:

      • The Barents Sea and coastal areas are the focus for the first half of the year

      • Later, fishing moves to the Polar front

  • History

    • Settlements

      • The abundance of Cod has been a profound influence on the rise of settlements in coastal areas

  • Characteristics

    • Appearance

      • Elongated, stout body

      • Curving white sideline

      • Distinctive beard thread under the chin

    • Color

      • A Norwegian Cod’s color depends on where it lives:

        • Cod found in shallow water is reddish, brown, or olive green with darker spots

        • Cod that live at greater depths are lighter and often greyish in color

    • Size

      • Norwegian Cod can live up to 40 years, growing up to 6 feet and weighing more than 130 pounds

  • Taste and Texture

    • Large fillets with bright white meat and large flakes

    • Clean, mild flavor

  • Handling/Storage:

    • Whole cod—pack in fresh ice daily in drain pan or shipping coffin, belly down

    • Portioned IQF cod—pack in ice until use (1–2 days after thaw)

  • Nutritional Information

    • Norwegian Cod is a lean fish. It contains only up to 3% fat and almost no carbohydrates. It is an excellent source of

      • Protein

      • Vitamins (such as B12)

      • Selenium

      • Omega-3 Fatty Acids – a meal-sized portion of cod will deliver the recommended daily intake

      • Iodine

  • How to Prepare:

    • Norwegian Cod is extremely versatile. Common preparation methods include:

      • Baked

      • Broiled

      • Fried

      • Sauteed

      • Steamed

      • Poached

Dried Cod:

  • Ancient Tradition

    • Drying is an ancient secret of preserving fish dating back thousands of years.

    • Not only does it preserve the fish, it creates an intense concentration of flavor, as well as proteins, vitamins, iron and calcium.

  • Stockfish

    • Drying Process:

      • Stockfish is cod that are gutted and immediately dried whole or split along the back.

    • Timing

      • After three months outside, Cod matures indoor in a dry and airy environment for an additional 4-12 months.

      • Perfect drying takes a delicate balance of wind, rain, run and temperatures jut above freezing.

      • Traditionally the drying or hanging period takes place form early March to the middle of April in southern parts of Norway and March until May in the northern part of Norway.

    • Nutrition

      • The nutritional value of one kilo of Stockfish is equal to five kilos of fresh fish

    • International Popularity

      • Stockfish is highly valued in Portugal and Italy 

  • Clipfish/Bacalao

    • Drying Process:

      • For clipfish, Norwegian Cod is gutted, cleaned, washed and skinned

      • Originally, the fish are then flattened out and stacked – with layers of salt between each fish to aid the maturing process – to dry for over the 2-3 weeks

      • Today, the salted fish is left to dry indoors in special hot air dryers from February to April – but generations ago, the cod would have been left on rock to dry naturally

    • Nutrition

      •  In Clipfish, all the nutrients from the Norwegian Cod remain

    • International Popularity

      •  Clipfish is known as Bacalao in other countries

      • It is important to Mediterranean, South American, Caribbean and West African cuisines

      • It is very important in Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Brazilian markets