Saturday, 18 April 2009

Pollock is now a fish called Colin

Sainsbury’s has renamed the fish pollack as “colin” - the French word for pollack - to save customers blushes when they ask for it.

Pollack is a cheaper, sustainable alternative to cod or haddock. Two of the most popular varieties in the UK are Alaskan Pollack (often spelt with an “o”, confusingly) whose fillets deliver a bone-free whitefish with a consistent snow-white color. They are lean with a tender texture and excellent flaking qualities. While Atlantic Pollack, a different species, is greyer and more oily, and has a "fishier" flavour. Both types are used for fish and chips and fish fingers.

A traditional ditty went “Pollack for puss, coley for the cat” but pollack works perfectly well in a fish pie, pan roasted with chorizo and butter beans, served with a fresh parsley sauce, or cooked Sicilian style with raisin and shallots. Try a Les Champs Bordelais Sauvingon Blanc 2007, Bordeaux (£5.98; Asda) for its fish-friendly citrus tang.

For more information on the fishing industry and fuss-free recipes check out Mitch Tonks’ new book Fish: The Complete Fish & Seafood Companion (£25; Pavilion) or visit the Marine Stewardship Council’s website (


gastroanthropologist said...

I participated in a blind tasting of fish 'n' chips. Cod vs. pollack. Nobody could tell the difference with any degree of certainty. I'm all for eating more sustainable fish - lets give the more popular ones a break for a while!

Alex said...

This is ridiculous news! I expected better from Sainsburys...