The haddock is a fish from the North Atlantic and widespread on both sides. It is a very recognisable fish with a rather doleful expression and a pronounced black line that runs the length of each side and a blotch near the head. This, similarly to the John Dory, gives it many names associated with St Peter, whose thumbprint this is supposed to represent. On the other hand, it is also referred to as the devil's thumbprint.
Fresh, this is a great fish to eat, commonly eaten in Britain as part of the national favourite of fish and chips, Scottish ‘fish supper’ or Norwegian fiskeboller. It has good firm texture with white flesh which lends itself to smoking, which it takes really well, often leaving it with a slight yellowish tinge. This lends great flavour to a fish pie or kedgeree. Try to avoid the artificially coloured bright yellow smoked haddock which can be strong. It is mainly smoked for preservation as it does not take so kindly to salting as do cod and hake. When less fresh it can fall apart.
Spawning occurs between January and June, peaking during late March and early April. The most important spawning grounds are in the waters off mid Norway.
Fillets of haddock and of cod may be sold as scrod in Boston.