Thursday, October 22, 2009

Regional Food

Many of you have probably experienced enjoying foods that are regional.  Those dishes you grew up with and those that helped mold your taste preferences.  While on my trip to Massachusetts and New Hampshire in America's New England, I had the opportunity to delight in some of my favorite foods.

The first delicacy I had the good fortune to taste was one close to my heart.  Fried Haddock fish.  As it happens. my last name is Haddock so I have always been sensitive to this Atlantic Ocean fish.  Can you imagine what it would be like to work in a Fish Market and be continuously asked for a pound of Haddock and have the customer laugh? This delicious fried Haddock came from the The Barnacal restaurant in Marblehead, Massachusetts.  To the horror of my friends, I took out my camera and took a picture of my lunch.  The container hoild tartar sauce which the fish is dipped in and the salad is coleslaw.  Yummy!  Sometimes I squeeze lemon on my fish and sometimes I like cider vinegar on the fish and french fries.  Tomato catsup is very commonly used as a condiment as well.

The Haddock fish is found on both shores of the Atlantic Ocean and prefers cold water.  It was once one of the mainstays of New England fishermen catch off the Grand Bank.  Due to fishing limitations set by the government, the Haddock are now flourishing again and available. In the northwest Atlantic, it ranges from the southern end of the Grand Banks to Cape Cod in the summer and it extends its range southward to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, in the winter. The haddock, like the closely related cod, are easily distinguished from other coastal Massachusetts fish by their three dorsal and two anal fins. The front dorsal fin is triangular in shape and taller than the following two. The posterior two are squarish, the middle dorsal being slightly larger than the last. Of the two anal fins, the second or posterior one is a mirror image of the third dorsal fin. Haddock can be distinguished from the other closely related members of the cod family by a black lateral line and a large spot on each side of the body over the pectoral fins. The largest recorded haddock weighed 37 pounds and measured 44 inches in length. Few haddock exceed 20 to 24 inches in length, 3 to 5 pounds in weight and 9 to 10 years old.

A young Haddock is called Schrod and a young Cod is called Scrod.  Smoked Haddock is called Finnan Haddie.  Historically, Haddock was fileted, salted and dried on racks.  Salted or corned Haddock can still be purchased.

The meat of the Haddock is lean and white and is considered premium white fish. It is not a fishy tasting fish which make it very popular even with people who often don't care for other fish and seafood.  It is less firm than cod and flakes beautifully when cooked. Haddock is excellent baked, broiled, fried, poached, microwaved or used in a chowder or stew.

HFere is a site with a great variety of Haddock Recipes .  I highly recommend you try this delicious fish.

How to make Old Fashioned Fried Haddock

Cut fillets into serving pieces.
Heat shortening in skillet over medium heat.
Mix salt and cornmeal; roll fish in cornmeal mixture.
Fry in hot shortening for 3 minutes or until delicately browned.
Place on brown paper bag to drain excess fat.

I brought 5 pounds of fresh Haddock back to Washington so we will have having fish dinners for a while!  What is your favorite Haddock recipe?


margearm said...

where's the recipe for "corned fish dinner". anyone ever heard of it?

Erin @ I Heart New England said...

Lovely blog you have here! I'm really enjoying looking at your Marblehead photos...
I'm also kicking myself for not eating at that restaurant! It was right next to my B&B too! Grrr... next time! :p