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I mentioned cod in my entry yesterday and I figured I should dedicate a whole entry to it!

Cod is the common name for the genus of fish Gadus, belonging to the family Gadidae, and is also used in the common name of a variety of other fishes. Cod is a popular food fish with a mild flavor, low fat content and a dense white flesh that flakes easily. Cod livers are processed to make cod liver oil, an important source of Vitamin A, Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA). Larger cod caught during spawning are sometimes called skrei. Young Atlantic cod or haddock prepared in strips for cooking is called scrod.

Cod in Norway:

We eat a lot of cod in Norway. In some parts of Norway (for instance parts of the southern coast), cod is the traditional Christmas dinner.

In the Lofoten islands of northern Norway, the fishing of cod was the main industry for centuries, and is still very important. Special techniques for cod fishing was developed there. The season for fishing cod is from early February to mid-March.

Some of the cod (after being cleaned of course) is hung up on timber racks (hjeller) to dry, remaining on the racks until June. This is called stockfish in English, bacalao in Spanish and bacalhau in Portuguese. In Brazil, bacalhau noruego is a cherished Christmas dish. (In Spanish and Portuguese they use the same word for the fresh and the dry version of the fish.) Norway has exported cod for centuries. In South America, I often find that our cod is the thing we are the most famous for!

People in Norway have been taking cod liver oil for a long time. The ultimate Omega 3 supplement! (Although it can make you burp fishy...)

I thought this image was neat - it is Norwegian cod liver oil (tran) packaged for sale in Poland.

I prefer my cod fresh, lightly salted, with potatoes, carrots and butter. It is almost always the first dinner I have when I go to Norway!

In Lofoten, we met a Spaniard running a tourist shop. He did good business selling stockfish to the Spanish tourists.

Te conozco bacalao, aunque vengas disfrazado!

Comments (6)

I don't eat much cod, but I do enjoy it when I have it. Norwegian must eat healthy then.

I am going to be very sad when February ends and you stop educating me on Norway.
I seriously think I should print every single one of your posts and take to my local high school so kids in Missouri can learn something more than the name of the country and its capital city!

Deborah, thank you, that is so nice of you to say!

Candi, I think the Norwegian diet used to be very healthy but maybe not so much anymore - sodas, fastfood, etc.

Cod liver oil! I've never had it or seen it but it was mentioned in books I read when I was a kid (and always sounded like torture!).

I'd like to try fresh cod sometime. I'll have to check Whole Foods next time I'm there.

And I agree with Deborah, you've done a great job introducing us all to your country.

I also have loved learning about Norway. That is one scary looking fish! I am guessing I have eaten cod but don't remember either liking or disliking it.


I love that cod liver oil bottle -- it actually makes it look as if the oil could be quite tasty! (I like cod, but not cod-liver oil.)

I've also enjoyed your Norway posts very much!

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