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Cod is the common name for the genus of fish Gadus, belonging to the family Gadidae, and is also used in the common name of a variety of other fishes. Cod is a popular food fish with a mild flavor, low fat content and a dense white flesh that flakes easily. Cod livers are processed to make cod liver oil, an important source of Vitamin A, Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA). Larger cod caught during spawning are sometimes called skrei. Young Atlantic cod or haddock prepared in strips for cooking is called scrod.
The Atlantic cod, which can change color at certain water depths, has two distinct color phases: grey-green and reddish brown. Its average weight is 5 kg to 12 kg (10 lb to 25 lb), but specimens weighing up to 100 kg (200 lb) have been recorded. Cod feed on mollusks, crabs, starfish, worms, squid, and small fish. Some migrate south in winter to spawn. A large female lays up to five million eggs in midocean, a very small number of which survive.
The pollock, and coalfish are related species found in cool waters of the Atlantic. Pollock have shovel-shaped tails and pale lateral lines and grow to 1 m (3 ft) and 15 kg (30 lb). Some grow to 2 m (6 feet) in length.
Cod is moist and flaky when cooked and is white in color. In the United Kingdom, Atlantic cod is one of the most common kinds of fish to be found in fish and chips, along with haddock and plaice. It is also well known for being largely consumed in Portugal and the Basque Country, where it is considered a treasure of the nation's cuisine.