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Atlantic vs Pacific Cod - do you have a preference?

While I live on the East Coast, it seems the only cod in the market (previously frozen varieties) is Pacific Cod. I know that cod is quite mild, but I remember it had some natural flavor, less than snapper but more than nearly flavorless but that seems to be the case with the Pacific cod that I have tried. Is there a noticeable flavor difference? Do you have a preference?

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  1. I'm not sure there is any species called
    "Pacific cod." The term "cod" is used
    erroneously for a variety of Pacific
    fish. including socalled black cod
    and ling cod, and a number of rockfish.

    3 Replies
    1. re: mpalmer6c

      I think it's Alaskan, not sure of the particular species but I think either way it's different species than Atlantic.

        1. re: fldhkybnva

          It's basically the same fish on either coast.

      1. Pacific cod is pollack. Cheap cheap cheap. No texture. No flavor. Just a protein platform for somewhere to dump 'flavors' on.
        You can bet your bottom dollar NO ling cod or rock cod especially would ever be sold as 'Pacific cod'.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Puffin3

          Yea, no flavor I can detect and they always call it Alaskan cod

          1. re: Puffin3

            Pacific Cod and Pollack are not the same. 2 different species. And I wouldn't bet my top dollar on the accuracy of any fish labeling. Mislabeling is rampant with almost species.

          2. Pacific Cod is also called True Cod or Grey Cod,
            This fish is highly regulated in the Gulf of Alaska, so it has not been over fished. Pollock and Cod are not the same fish, they are similar… but the average Pacific Cod is 2 to 3 times larger than its cousin the Pollock.

            Black Cod is not really a cod, the proper name is Sable Fish, very rich and high in oil, very delicious.

            1 Reply
            1. re: MichJeep

              I've been buying Alaskan cod both fresh and frozen, and find both quite delicious. I love it best either in a stew with potatoes, tomatoes, onions and garlic, seasoned Spanish-style with smoked paprika and some saffron, or just well-seasoned and sautéed quickly in oil and butter, then topped with garlic butter and lemon and finished in the oven. It's also my favorite for battering and frying for fish and chips, but there are too many good places around here making that; I used to live where the only choice was H. Salt, but L.A. County has more …

            2. For me, Atlantic Cod, but then, Pacific Salmon.


              1. Grey cod is like pollack. Black cod is a form of sable fish.'Epinephelus daemelli. It's fantastic eating.
                Grey cod/pollack/atlantic/pacific cod whatever the marketers call it not so much.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Puffin3

                  Again, Pollack and Cod are different fish.

                  1. re: carolinadawg

                    Yes, different fish, but cod are very Pollock-like and vice-versa. Seems like two different conversations going on here.

                    Can people tell the difference? http://spo.nmfs.noaa.gov/mfr461/mfr46...

                    The primary use for Pollock these days is the filet-o-fish and Krab (surimi). Sadly, for Pollock, that fishery has been certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council and McDonald's promotes the sustainability of the FoF with an eco-label on its packaging and pays the MSC a royalty to use their seal of approval.

                    1. re: Stiflers_Mom

                      "Can people tell the difference?"

                      Puffin3 says he can.

                      1. re: carolinadawg

                        I never said I could tell the difference. I said they are "similar". The problem is there are a number of local/regional names given to these fish.
                        I did say that 'epinephelus daemelli' are what people refer to as 'Black cod' around here. In Alaska some not-so-scrupulous marketers/restaurants are selling plain old 'Grey cod' as 'Black cod'. Night and day difference in quality. The price of the fish should tip anyone off. Like the difference in price between a 500 gram container of 'snow crab' meat and the same amount of 'crab-flavor inspired' pollack/grey cod or whatever they are currenting calling it.

                2. Atlantic. Has a better texture.

                  1. Atlantic Cod is the only Cod.

                    Previously frozen is junk.
                    Buy it frozen at sea and still frozen or fresh from the docks. (Fresh fish is terrible from the supermarket)

                    Cod isnt as abundant as it used to be. Try anther whitefish.

                    1. Let me just start by stating that fresh Atlantic Cod, and Pacific (Grey Cod or True Cod) are both delicious. I say this with the confidence of a man who has consumed plenty of both. Comparing frozen fish to fresh fish is a bit silly IMO.

                      Pollock is related to cod but is a different fish. All I know about the marketing of Pollock vs Grey Cod comes from working at fish processing factories and long line fishing in Alaska. When the fish are pitched from the boat they are weighed separately and the Pacific Cod commands a higher price than does the pollock.


                      Another rather nauseating tidbit regarding pollock is that due to their habit of feeding on walrus feces they get worms. These have to be dissected out of the fish that are sold as fillets. This tedious work is done by rather disinterested people, hence one should check for left over worms when purchasing pollock fillets (they won't hurt you but finding one could be unnerving for a dinner guest.) But that's not the worst part. The scraps of the pollock including the bits of flesh removed containing worms all goes down into a big tank containing a bleaching agent. It's all snowy white when it comes out and then gets ground up for distribution to frozen fish stick makers and fast food restaurants.

                      In any case at least out the door from the fish processor the fish are labelled correctly and sold accordingly, what happens once it gets into the hands of the retailers is anyone's guess.

                      Finally while the Pacific cod fishery is healthy the Atlantic cod fishery not so much, but one should bear in mind that the average numbers do not reflect regional differences, i.e. no cod in MA but plenty in ME. Be that as it may just today the Atlantic cod season in the northeast was cancelled, finished, no Atlantic cod from a huge territory ranging from Massachusetts to Canada can be commercially fished this year.


                      1. I absolutely adore Black Cod. My favourite fish of all time. I don't much like regular Grey Cod though. It's pretty bland but works well in some chowders and fish stews.