New Englanders value their cod: for centuries it was one of our region's most plentiful fish. Cod was so important to the Massachusetts economy that back in 1784, a carved wooden statue of the "sacred cod" was hung at the state house.

Cod has a white flesh, delicate flavor, and a tender, somewhat flaky texture. It can be cooked just about any way. The cod family encompasses more than fifty species of fish, which include haddock and pollock. Cod can grow to more than 200 pounds, but the average size is less than 25 pounds. (Small cod or other whitefish that weigh between 1 ½ and 2 ½ pounds are marketed as scrod.)

From the "Legal Sea Foods Cookbook" by Roger Berkowitz and Jane Doerfer, illustrated by Edward Koren

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