Cod, haddock, or plaice?

Old May 15th, 2006, 12:51 PM
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Cod, haddock, or plaice?

If I decide to have some fish and chips during my upcoming trip to the UK, which of these three should I order? I'm tempted to say that I like firm, white fish "without that fishy taste." But then I'm afraid, it won't have any taste. Fish should taste a little fishy, right?

Also, is Harry Ramsden's in Manchester as good as some sites purport?

Thanks!
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Old May 15th, 2006, 01:17 PM
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Hi
Fresh fish should not have a fishy taste. It should have no odor or taste of fish. Preferences are personal. I prefer cod, but that's person after having lived inNew England for some years. Sorry never been to Manchester.
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Old May 15th, 2006, 01:23 PM
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Cod has less fish taste than Haddock, but it is alittle frowned on to have cod because of depleted stock - although it doesn't stop many people. Harry Ramsdens is now alas a franchise, it was once the plaice to eat real fish when it was a biggish but one on its own restaurant in Guiseley, West Yorkshire, so for real fish and chips in Manchester choose a good fish and chip shop. Or, if you must have a restaurant then I would go for Mrs Thomas' chop house.
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Old May 15th, 2006, 01:29 PM
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I had fried whiting in Ireland, probably the best fried fish of our trip. It was light and flakey with a mild flavor, not "fishy". (Sorry, I know that whiting wasn't one of your choices!)
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Old May 15th, 2006, 01:30 PM
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Ah, Stevelyon

Good memories! Many a Sunday breakfast was eaten in HR's car park in Guiseley during my teenage years with the now Mr Alya

We were always there before they opened at 11am, funnily enough though I have never eaten in the restaurant or at any other HR.

Hmmm... now I have a craving for a fish butty with mushy peas and lots of malt vinegar
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Old May 15th, 2006, 01:32 PM
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Somehow I thought it was all made from haddock or plaice these days, after the decline of the Atlantic cod. Maybe that's only on "our" side of the Atlantic.

I did find remarks on a "sustainable seafoods" website to the effect that east coast (U.S.) fish-and-chip shops that have switched to haddock find their customers prefer it over cod, by a slight margin.

So I'll be interested to see what others here think.
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Old May 15th, 2006, 01:39 PM
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"... it was once the plaice to eat real fish ..."

LOL, Stevelyon.

Guy, aeiger has it right. Living a stone's throw from the Atlantic, I can tell you that fresh fish doesn't taste fishy.

When I lived in Newfoundland we usually had cod for fish and chips, but that was long before the North Atlantic cod stocks dwindled. Nova Scotians use haddock.

Anselm
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Old May 15th, 2006, 01:39 PM
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mmm I always get haddock when in Scotland.
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Old May 15th, 2006, 01:45 PM
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Well, I'm getting the idea that haddock is the way to go. I am always politically correct on the one hand, so no cod, and I hear no one singing the praises of plaice (which has a distinctly sinister-sounding name, if you ask me.)

Or else whiting, should I be so lucky. Glad to have brought back fond memories.
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Old May 15th, 2006, 01:46 PM
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I have to say that I dislike stores who pump a fishy odour into the store around the seafood department - Fresh fish isn't supposed to smell
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Old May 15th, 2006, 01:48 PM
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Hi again
I had Fish and chips last week and they used haddock. Enjoyed it but found it a bit thick cut. I though it was because i had it at Joes Crab Shack, did'nt realize there was a shortage.
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Old May 15th, 2006, 01:51 PM
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I second aeiger's observation that fish should have no odor or fishy taste but this New Englander prefers haddock for fish and chips - generally with the skin. Is plaice used for fish and chips?
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Old May 15th, 2006, 01:54 PM
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Harry Ramsden's, everywhere in Britain, uses dripping (as opposed to oil) as its frying medium. This leaves a slight film on the roof of the mouth which many people unused to it (and quite a few of us who grew up with it) positively dislike.

Other than that, the big Ramsden's franchises are generally well policed, and operated by staff very like those in Guisely (the mini franchises, which seem to be disappearing, were once quite widespread on motorways and in some small London sites, and really very mediocre). They're not as good as a really well-run chip shop. But they're a lot more reliable than the other 95%, and have the "slap up tea" environment (motherly waitresses, pianola, lots of bread and butter) that was widespread in a certain kind of Northern eatery 40 or so years ago. I've never failed to have fresh-tasting, flaky fish in a large Ramsden's franchise.

Dripping is commonly, though not universally, used north of about Birmingham (and in my experience, everywhere in Scotland), which is why it's an essential ingredient in the Ramsden's formula. It's used in very few places in London (the Fryers Delight in Theolbalds Road is one such place).

Personally, I find plaice has a lot more flavour than cod or haddock. Haddock gets more common the further north you go.
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Old May 15th, 2006, 01:56 PM
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I live in Florida, so I also know my seafood. (Although it's more the dolphin and snapper and grouper that we get around here.) I guess by "fishy" I simply meant "flavorful." Poor choice of words.
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Old May 15th, 2006, 01:58 PM
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What are "drippings"? I'm really afraid to ask...
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Old May 15th, 2006, 01:58 PM
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jsmith:

It's inconceivable that anyone in Britain with a single remaining taste bud wouod fail to eat the skin in deep fried fish. What's the point if you don't?
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Old May 15th, 2006, 02:13 PM
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So "dripping" is, as I expected, animal fat? As I will be in Manchester, the Lakes, the Dales, York, and Derbyshire, should I avoid fish and chips altogether? Other than fish, I do not eat any meat. Please advise...
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Old May 15th, 2006, 02:15 PM
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A couple of weeks ago we had the delicious Fish & Chips in Anstruther, Scotland (south of St. Andrews).It's "world famous"! It has a light almost"tempura" type coating etc and their most popular is haddock (but then that is Scottish haddock). I think it must depend on what area ,as cod is popular(or USE TO BE) in some parts of the world.
Anyway, the haddock was DELICIOUS!
(I don't eat loads of salt, but at this place one needs to add their own salt AND vinegar >>YUM!
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Old May 15th, 2006, 02:42 PM
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Guy18,

I think you could just ask what they use for frying, and seek out the ones that use vegetable oil.

Plaice is actually very nice. It's a flatfish in the halibut family, and tastes very similar. Maybe you should try it. . . just for the halibut.
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Old May 15th, 2006, 02:45 PM
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I used to live near the Guisley Harry Ramsden & the food there is far superior to that of the franchises
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