What is Scrod?

Baked scrod with vegetables and creamy sauce.

Scrod is a generic term used to refer to fresh white fish that has been split and deboned before sale. The term “scrod” is often used in the New England area, where people generally understand it to mean “fish of the day”. Rather than referring to a specific fish, scrod can be any species, prepared in a variety of ways. This term appears to have originated in the 1800s and is native to New England.

Scrod typically refers to cod or other white fish.

Some people specifically state that scrod is either cod or haddock, two white fish that are popular edible fish in New England. Since “scrod” refers to fresh fish and cod and haddock are traditionally salted or otherwise preserved, the use of “scrod” for fresh fish and “cod” for salted or preserved fish can be seen in some fishing communities. . However, others say the term can be used more generally for any type of white fish, especially as cod is in decline due to overfishing and canned fish is increasingly rare.

Haddock can be scrod.

To be considered scrod, the fish must be split and deboned so that it is ready to be cooked and eaten, and it must be fresh. White fish is famous for having a relatively mild flavor, with firm, filling flesh, and can be prepared in a variety of ways. Whitefish were also plentiful on the coasts of New England, making them a common and well-known food. Scrod can be steamed, grilled, baked or fried and can be included in soups, seafood stews and other dishes.

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For restaurants, the generic usage of “scrod” can encompass many catches of the day, allowing the restaurant to advertise the scrod without knowing which fish will be delivered. Once the establishment knows which species is being served, it can pass the information on to the waiters. Menus can also be printed with “scrod” instead of a specific type of fish, to allow the chef to substitute as needed. Some restaurants even integrate the term into their names as a splash of local color that diners might like.

Fish markets often identify the species for sale, so the term “scrod” is not used very often by fishmongers. In fact, genetic testing of fish for sale by curious college students in 2008 revealed that many fish are mislabeled, either deliberately or by accident, so “scrod” may be the most accurate description for some of the offerings at the fish counter.

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