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All about “Cod”, a fish rich in omega 3

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The cod is amazing, prepared in brandade with which we will stuff a pepper or a zucchini. It is healthy and good simply poached and accompanied by some vegetables and an aioli to give it a little vigor. Unless you prefer your eggs, the Greeks prepare taramosalata.

Characteristics of cod:

  • Rich in proteins that contain the nine essential amino acids;
  • Source of omega 3;
  • Source of iodine and selenium;
  • Rich in vitamin B12;
  • Limits the risks of cardiovascular disease.

Definition of food

Cod identity card

  • Type: Fish;
  • Family: Gadidae;
  • Origin: Norway;
  • Season: January to April.

Characteristics of cod

Cod is a large fish 60 to 70 cm long and can weigh between 2 and 3 kg. It is generally gray or green in color.

Differences with nearby foods

The terms cod and cod are often confused. In the world of fishing, cod corresponds to adult cod while the word cod corresponds to young fish. In the kitchen, cod is called fresh, unprocessed cooked fish and cod is dried and salted fish fillets.

Word from the nutritionist

Cod is a semi-fatty fish that is rich in omega-3. It can be consumed once or twice a week. One serving corresponds to 150g of fish.

Nutritional values

Per 100g of raw cod:

Nutrients                                                              Quantities                                                           
Protein 17.81 g
Fat 0.67 g
Carbohydrates 0 g
Water 81.22 g
Fibers 0 g
Vitamin B3 2.06 mg
Vitamin B6 0.25 mg
Vitamin B12 0.91 µg
Vitamin D 0.54 µg
Selenium 33.1 µg
Phosphorus 203 mg

 

11 benefits of cod: why eat it?

  1. Cod is a fish with little fat and is therefore considered a lean fish. In general, regular consumption of fish can provide several health benefits. A round table of international scientists concluded that the consumption of one to two fish meals per week was associated with the decrease in mortality from coronary heart disease.
  2. Cod contains eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), two fatty acids from the omega-3 family. These fatty acids act as precursors of chemical messengers promoting the proper functioning of the immune, circulatory and hormonal systems. Several epidemiological and clinical studies have shown that the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids (mainly from fatty fish) exerts favorable effects on cardiovascular health and reduces mortality from cardiovascular disease. These fatty acids are known to act in several ways in the body. They act in particular by reducing blood pressure, blood triglycerides and the formation of blood clots, thereby reducing the risk of atherosclerosis. Furthermore, studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids may play a role in regulating mood and preventing depression. Finally, these fatty acids would exert certain anti-inflammatory effects, which could be useful in the treatment of certain pathologies such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and psoriasis.
  3. Generally speaking, fish is an excellent source of complete protein since it contains the nine essential amino acids, i.e. acids that are not produced by our body and must come from our diet. Proteins are used primarily to form, repair and maintain tissues, such as the skin, muscles and bones. They are also used for the formation of digestive enzymes as well as hormones. In addition, several animal studies have shown that cod protein improves insulin sensitivity and increases the body’s absorption of glucose.
  4. Cod is an excellent source of selenium. This mineral works with one of the main antioxidant enzymes, thus preventing the formation of free radicals in the body. It also helps to convert thyroid hormones to their active form.
  5. Atlantic cod from the St. Lawrence is an excellent source of iodine. It contains 15 times more than mackerel and 50 times more than rainbow trout (also from the St. Lawrence). Iodine is used in the composition of thyroid hormones necessary for the regulation of growth, development and metabolism.
  6. Cod is an excellent source of vitamin B12. This vitamin works together with folic acid (vitamin B9) to make red blood cells in the blood. It also ensures the maintenance of nerve cells and cells that make bone tissue.
  7. Cod is a good source of phosphorus. Phosphorus is the second most abundant mineral in the body after calcium. It plays an essential role in the formation and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. In addition, it participates among other things in the growth and regeneration of tissues and helps to maintain normal blood pH. It is one of the constituents of cell membranes.
  8. Cod is a good source of vitamin B3. Also called niacin, it participates in many metabolic reactions and contributes particularly to the production of energy from the carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and alcohol that we ingest. It also participates in the DNA formation process, allowing normal growth and development.
  9. Cod is a good source of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6, also called pyridoxine, performs several vital functions in the body. It firstly participates in the production of red blood cells and allows them to transport more oxygen. Second, vitamin B6 helps regulate blood sugar levels. Finally, it contributes to the proper functioning of the immune system and plays a role in the metabolism (production and use) of proteins. This vitamin participates in energy metabolism and tissue formation.
  10. Cod is a source of magnesium. Magnesium participates in bone development, protein construction, enzymatic actions, muscle contraction, dental health and the functioning of the immune system. It also plays a role in energy metabolism and in the transmission of nerve impulses.
  11. Cod is a source of vitamin D. Vitamin D is closely involved in the health of bones and teeth, making calcium and phosphorus available in the blood, among other things for the growth of bone structure. Vitamin D also plays a role in the maturation of cells, including cells of the immune system.

Choosing the right cod

Atlantic cod is available year-round, fresh or frozen, usually in the form of skin-on fillets. In some fishmongers, you can also find Pacific cod, which is prepared in the same way, as well as sablefish, whose fatty flesh is prepared rather like that of salmon.

The different varieties

The main commercial species is Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), followed by Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus). Also found in commerce is sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) which, despite its name, is not a real cod and whose flesh is more fatty.

Keep well

In the refrigerator: As with all fresh fish, it is best to consume the cod on the day of purchase. At most, it can be stored for two days in the coldest part of the refrigerator.

In the freezer: A few months.

Cod preparation

How to cook it? How to match it?

In European cookbooks, salted cod is very often used, which is desalted for 24 hours in water before preparing it. In the absence of salted cod, fresh fish can be used, omitting the desalting stage.

The most common way to prepare cod is to poach it for 10 to 20 minutes in water or in a broth, drain it, remove the skin and bones, then crumble the flesh.

  • Omelet: brown the crumbled flesh in the oil and add it to beaten eggs, dill, salt and pepper. Cook in a pan. Or, for a more substantial omelet, first brown the potatoes cut into thin slices in the oil, add the cod flesh, cook until tender, add the beaten eggs and cook.
  • Cod with valentine: alternate layers of poached and flaked cod, rice and tomato sauce in a gratin dish, add a drizzle of melted butter, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake.
  • Warm salad: mix boiled and sliced ​​potatoes, crumbled cod meat in a salad bowl, and incorporate a homemade vinaigrette with mustard; season with salt and pepper, garnish with chopped chives and serve this still warm salad.
  • Cold salad: beat poached cod, crumbled and cooled with homemade mayonnaise and chopped herbs. Serve on a bed of lettuce with a few slices of tomatoes.
  • In Provence, poached cod is accompanied by potatoes, carrots, green beans, cauliflower and boiled artichoke bottoms, as well as an aioli that is served separately. Hard-boiled eggs and snails usually complete this dish.
  • Brandade: pass the crumbled flesh through a blender or food processor. Put it back on the heat, adding little by little and alternately milk and oil without boiling. When a preparation with the consistency of a puree is obtained, salt, pepper and season with nutmeg. Serve with croutons rubbed with garlic and black olives. You can incorporate a boiled and mashed potato during cooking. You can stuff large macaroni, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, etc. with this preparation.
  • Cod sparse: this African dish is usually prepared with cassava leaves, but you can replace them with chard or spinach leaves. Cook the leaves in boiling water, drain them by pressing them, then chop them. Add crushed tomato and finely chopped onion. Mash the poached and crumbled cod with a small pepper and place in a gratin dish. Cover with spinach leaves or chard, drizzle with oil and bake for 15 minutes in an oven set to 210 ° C (410 ° F).
  • Fierce avocado and cod: this West Indian dish is made with pan-fried cod and then cooled. Mash the crumbled flesh with avocado and a little lemon juice. Add a finely chopped hot pepper and cool for an hour in the refrigerator. Serve with toasted bread croutons.
  • Almond cod: cook fillets in a pan and garnish with slivered and golden almonds in butter.
  • Cod and cauliflower puree: mash with boiled cauliflower and poached and crumbled cod with a fork, adding a little milk or cream. Salt, pepper and reheat the preparation in a double boiler. Garnish with parsley.
  • With béchamel sauce: arrange the poached and crumbled cod in a gratin dish, coat with a béchamel sauce enriched with good cheese and put it in the oven for ten minutes.
  • Cod rougail: sauté minced onions and poached and crumbled cod in a little oil, stirring vigorously. Add minced garlic, thyme and coarsely chopped tomatoes. After a few minutes, add a glass of water. If desired, add chopped, seeded hot peppers. Cook, stirring, until all the liquid is absorbed. Serve over rice.
  • In chowder or bouillabaisse type soups.
  • Taramosalata: this culinary preparation based on cod eggs (or another fish) and olive oil, or crème fraîche, is often mixed with mashed potatoes or breadcrumbs. It is served as a starter.
  • The cod is also canned, air-dried (stockfish) or salted (kipper).

Contraindications

Allergy to proteins found there

Fish are among the nine most common food allergens. People allergic to fish react abnormally to the proteins found there. It is possible that a person with an allergy to a fish or a seafood is also allergic to other species belonging to the same group. For example, a person allergic to cod could also be allergic to salmon since both are fish. On the other hand, a person allergic to one type of fish or seafood (crustacean or fish or mollusk) will not necessarily be allergic to the other types. It is strongly recommended that people allergic to these foods consult an allergist before introducing new ones into their diet.

Contaminants

Fish is the main source of mercury to which we are exposed. This metal is naturally present in the environment, but the discharges caused by industrialization make the consumption of certain fish less safe for health. Predatory fish have high levels of mercury. Other fish species, such as cod, are said to have mercury levels below the norm. They can therefore be consumed without danger to health.

Cod history

It was first the term “moluel”, which appeared in the 11th century, which served to designate this fish, the word “cod” having appeared later, in 1260. Its origin is obscure. It may come from the Celtic mor, “mer”, and from the old French luz, “brochet” or “merlu”, while others think that it comes rather from the old Provençal morrude, which means ” gurnard “, another type of fish.

The term “cod” appeared in the language in 1278. It comes from the Dutch kabeljau. It is official in France and designates cod sold fresh or frozen.

Fish living in the cold waters of the globe, cod was a staple food among the peoples of the North, especially the Vikings who, during their warlike expansion between the 9th and 11th centuries, helped to spread its consumption throughout the rest of the Europe. Following them, the Basques and the Bretons, great navigators, will cross the Atlantic Ocean in search of this fish which, thanks to its lean flesh, can, once salted, keep for several months on long-distance boats. During the Middle Ages, they made a very lucrative business of it, the Catholics making it one of their main sources of protein during the 160 or so days of the year when they had to abstain from meat and dairy products.

The Sea Indians

Nearly 2,500 years before the “discovery” of America by Europeans, the Micmacs, and Algonquians, relied on the resources of the sea, and particularly on cod, to provide them with the greater part. of their food, hence the name “Sea Indians” given to them by the new arrivals.

The Basques and Bretons will push their boats to Stocafixa (Basque word meaning “Cod Island” and designating Newfoundland) and to Labrador where they will discover the famous Grand Banks, which are believed to have been the largest cod stocks in the world. Aware of the importance of their discovery, they will keep the location of their catches secret until a French explorer reveals it to the world. From then on, Portuguese, Spanish, French and English will rush to the Grand Banks to harvest this windfall.

This is how cod will spark the first colonization movements on the east coast of North America: villages and cities, whose economy is entirely based on it, are born where there were previously only rocks. and sand dunes. For almost 500 years, cod will shape the face of Canada’s east coast. But the growing demand for this fish will lead to overfishing and, in the early 1990s, we witness a real collapse of stocks. Today, despite the imposition of moratoriums on the commercial fishery, Canadian stocks remain low and this fish, which for centuries has fed millions of poor families on both sides of the Atlantic, is now considered a luxury product.

For further

Ecology and environment

Although environmental factors may have played a role in the depletion of Atlantic cod stocks, many believe that this is mainly due to the trawl, a fishing gear that is harmful to the habitat of many marine and with very high bycatch. This is not the case with line fishing, which is practiced in parallel. In the United States as in Canada, anglers have joined associations to denounce the perverse effects of trawl fishing on the environment, on fish stocks and on the survival of riverside communities which have always practiced responsible fishing.

When the Atlantic cod stocks collapsed in the early 1990s, these fishermen were subject to the same restrictions as trawlers regardless of whether their methods were sustainable. The Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen’s Association, in collaboration with a foundation and a group of chefs from the Boston area, have therefore launched a campaign promoting cod caught by angling. Twenty restaurants in the region have committed to serving only fish from this source. This campaign, which sparked strong reactions from trawl fishermen, has been approved by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which recommends that consumers eat Atlantic cod only if it is marked “caught by hand”. line “.

Atlantic cod is not considered an eco-responsible choice because, despite severe management in the United States and Canada, the populations of this fish are overfished. Populations in Canadian areas are so low that some are categorized as endangered or threatened. Some environmental organizations like GreenPeace, Seachoice or OceanWise have open red and yellow lists to guide consumers in making more sustainable choices. Unfortunately, cod is on the red list.

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