Scrod is a very generic term used to depict a whitefish which is split and boned prior to sale. This term is sometimes spelled as schrod and many times it is used to refer a young haddock or cod fish. This fish is typical to the cuisine of Atlantic Canada and New England. In New England area this term is used to refer first catch of the day and it used for various species of fish. The term is believed to have originated in the 1800s in New England.
There has been long standing debate about what should be referred as a scrod – a young haddock or cod. The term refers to a fresh fish altough cod is generally served salted and preserved. The term cod is used for salted scrod in some fishing communities. Some others may use it for referring to simply any kind of white fish which is considered edible. The scientific explorations suggest that cod is on decline due to overfishing and the preserved fish is becoming rare, so the clear distinction between the term cod and schrod will lighten in the coming years.
There is a very popular acronym for Scrod in New England which reads “Seaman’s Catch Received on Deck”. There is another popular acronym which reads “Small Cod Remaining on Dock”. The term is believed to have originated from a Dutch word Schrod which means a fish piece or from a word scrawed in Cornish language. Scrawing is the method employed to cook a white fish. The fish is split, deboned, salted, and dried prior to broiling. An early cookbook published in 1851 suggested that the split tail of cod or its flesh can be handled in a same way and the term was referred as scrawing.
Culinary Usage and Preparation
Any fresh whitefish which can be split and boned is generally categorized as scrod. Whitefish are popular and they have mild flavor, firm, and filling flesh and are cooked in many ways. The fishes which are split and boned can be broiled, steamed, fried, and baked and they are commonly added to the stews, soups, and other dishes. The restaurants generally use this term for marketing the any type of white fish. They utilize this term to sell fish based dishes without revealing the actual identity of the fish. It has become a term for fishes which are not named yet or not very popular.
Following are some of the recipes involving white fish -
- Parkerhouse Scrod – This is a popular cod based dish prepared at the famous Boston based hotel known by name Parker house. The cod fillets are marinated in the mixture of milk , salt, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, oil, salt, and paprika for some time and then coated with breadcrumbs prior to baking. The flavor of dish is enhanced by pouring the white wine over baking tray.
- Schrod Au Gratin – A baked dish involving young cod fillets. The cod fillets are marinated in a spicy mixture comprising breadcrumbs, garlic, butter, parsley, cheese and pepper and baked in a buttered dish until it becomes flaky.