Tusk, torsk, European cusk, brosmius
Though regarded as a substitute for cod, many chefs, including James Beard, have argued that “cusk ought to be more popular in its own right.” A member of the Gadidae family, along with cod, haddock and pollock, cusk resembles its relatives through the head, but the rest of its body looks as if it was crossed with an eel. The fish is found along the western Atlantic from Newfoundland to Cape Cod. On the European side, it is caught from northern Scotland to Iceland and northern Norway. Cusk is a bottom-feeding fish, found as deep as 500 fathoms. Because cusk don’t school, most are caught by trawl as a bycatch of more highly valued species like haddock and cod. The remainder of the catch is landed by longliners. Market size varies from 2- to 3-pound “squirrels” brought in by longliners to 15-pounders landed by draggers.
The cusk’s flesh is white when raw and becomes an opaque white after it’s been cooked.The meat is firmer and chewier than cod. The flavor is mild and sweet, much like cod.
Cusk meat is somewhat oilier than other whitefish, so it can be grilled and baked. It is also considered a good frying fish. The dense flesh takes longer to cook than cod or haddock. Because the firm meat holds together well, cusk is good in soups and chowders. This quality also makes it a good candidate for kabobs.
Cod, Haddock, Pollock