STOCKFISH

It is saddening that barely a few individuals are familiar with the importance of Stockfish. A lot of people in Nigeria are stockfish consumers, but most of them do not know its origin. It is also true that many consumers do not know that stockfish has varieties. As you learn from here, you will get to discover the production process, the history, and about nutritional values of stockfish.

 Cod:                                                        

                                                                                             COD IN BARRENT SEA.
 
Cod is the normal name given to demersal fish genus which belongs to the Gadidae family. It is usually a large marine fish with a little barbel located on the chin. Though, there are other fish species known as cod, some that belong to the Gadidae family are not referred to as cod. It is usually used in the production of stock fish.

Cod is a popular food with mild flavor and a thick, white flesh. Its liver is also processed to make what is popularly known as cod liver oil, which is rich in Vitamin A, Omega 3 fatty acid and Vitamin E.

Cods from the Genus Gidadae family can further be described to have two anal and three rounded dorsal fins. As part of its characteristics, it is said that the Atlantic cod has two different colors of reddish brown and gray green, and these colors changes as they get deep down in the waters.

 Stockfish:   

                                                                           

                                                                                           HEADLESS COD BALES.

Stock Fish is a Cod product which is usually unsalted and dried by sun and cold air, while placed on wooden racks. This method of production was inspired by a global practice for drying of food including fish, in order to give it a longer period of storage life.

This method is seen to be cheap and very effective, especially in supportive climates.

Stock fish is importance to many people across the world mainly because of its many health and nutritious benefits. With this, it has become very popular and is said to be consumed by most Catholic countries in the Mediterranean, particularly in Italy and Portugal. Even though stock fish originates from Norway, it is a special staple in Nigeria.

The fish is prepared immediately it is captured. After emptying the fish, it is either completely dried or divided from the spine while the tail is still intact. 

Stock fish is included in a lot of foreign dishes like the baccala native dish in Italy. It is also crunched by the Croatians on Christmas Eve.     

This is not peculiar with West Africa as it is used to prepare many soups that complements garri and fufu. It is also an essential ingredient in the local igbo food such as Ugba na Okporoko, prepared by the Ohafia people in Abia state of Nigeria.

The people of Umuahia do not joke with this staple as it is always used delicious ukazi soup during festive seasons and special events.

Stock fish is usually sold in different sizes such as bales of 100 lbs each, half bale or quarter of a bale.       

 Drying of Stockfish:   

                                                    

                                                                               COD ON RACKS​ IN LOFOTEN,

                                                                                                     NORWAY.

Typically, stock fish is dried under sun and cold air as it is placed on wooden racks on the shore.  This method of production was inspired by a long age global practice for drying of food including fish, in order to give it a longer period of storage life.

The method is very cheap and effective, especially when the weather and environment is favorable.

Over the years, several species of dried fish have advanced and the stock fish which is not salted is well categorized with the salted cod or the clipfish, where the fish is first salted before drying.

This production process of salting the clipfish was first developed by the Portuguese who first extracted salt close to the water of Aviero and brought it down to Newfoundland where stock fish was in large quantities.

The process of drying stock fish involves removing the water content from the fish but still leaves the natural nutrients. Therefore, apart from its numerous flavors, consumers can enjoy its high concentration of vitamins, calcium and iron.

There are no added preservatives, just the power of nature makes it dry.

Grading/ Sorting of Stockfish: 

                                                                                 STOCKFISH MATURING AND
                                                                                       READYING FOR GRADING.

Sorting stock fish may not seem to be an important task, but really requires people with some working skills that have been gotten for some years back. Also, the grading experts usually have the ability and experience to easily sort the stock fish based on its size, thickness, quality and type of aroma. The truth is, there are over twenty various ways stock fish is being classified.

 Origin & History of Stockfish: 

                                               

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0046/8693/8198/files/0aa1365b7e726a2f8b56a85af035a344.jpg?8510523493884001914                                                                                                 CITY OF LOFOTEN,

                                                                                      NORTHERN NORWAY. 

Stock fish which is a product of dried white fish (Such as, ling, saith, haddock and cod, etc.) originated from Norway over 1000 years ago. By description, it is a long Atlantic cod which has two different colors of reddish brown and gray green, and these colors changes as they get deep down in the waters.

Stock fish usually come unsalted and is dried by sun and cold air in order to give it a longer period of storage life.

If stock fish is to be enjoyed, it needs the very best in raw materials. Thankfully, Norway has most of the biggest cod stocks among other nations of the world. Between the month of February and April, all the coastline within the country comes alive to welcome millions of fish from Barents Sea to the reproducing grounds close to the northern coast.

Thereafter, the stock fish is hung on wooden racks so it will properly dry. There has not been any other different suggestion on method to dry stock fish.

Norway has a perfect weather condition for producing stock fish, with temperatures ranging around zero degrees Celsius, which balances the wind between sun and rain. 

Since its discovery, stock fish has been an essential economic product in most foreign markets. Norwegians who are the original founders always travelled with dried cod and later on a market for dried cod was established in southern part of Europe.

Most historical accounts explain that stock fish being a source of great national pride to Norway also contributed to their rich history, as it provided their Viking ancestors with adequate sustenance through out their classic journeys. 

It is even on record that Leiv Eiriksson got large supplies of the said dried fish as they journeyed to America.  

The Portuguese actually started to fish cod from the 15th century and the Basques natives played a major role in trading stock fish and during this period, they discovered the Canadian fishing banks even before Columbus found the area known as America.

Apart from the rich historical period of discovering stock fish, the cod product seems to vary from other fish species particularly because the fishing grounds is quite far from inhabitant centers but can only be seen on the coast near the Lofoten Islands.  

It will, however, be ideal to add that at the period of stock fish boom, most cod fisheries along the coast of Northern Norway have been developed and were in a ready state to begin export. This went on till the 14th century and a treaty which was signed to strengthen the trade was heavily criticized by William Pitt the Elder, claiming cod fish was ‘’British Gold’’.

Seeing that there was no success in this false claim, cod became a major product in Newfoundland and Massachusetts as it established a lot of trade agreements and networks as well as inter cultural exchanges. 

Stockfish in Nigeria: 

Nigeria is one of the countries where stock fish is very popular. In most parts of the country, the staple food is used to prepare meals, especially soups that complements garri and fufu. Most women in the traditional market attests that the taste of stock fish is life.

Stock fish has been existing in Nigeria since over 200 years ago and is said to have most importers of the product located in the city of Aba in Abia state.

This delicious and nutritious aquatic product is creatively used to prepare delicacies like ‘’Ugba na Okporoko’’ and other special food.

The people of Umuahia also cherish this important long dried fish, as it is always featured in their popular ukazi soup, which is prepared during special ceremonies like traditional and white wedding, new yam festival, Christmas and Easter celebrations and other memorable events in the town.    

The aroma of stock fish is really appetizing and plunges down your throat. Little wonder the fish has been strictly preserved to dry in order to maintain its original flavor and irresistible taste.  

Though, Nigeria has a large coastline area to catch several varieties of fish, people admit that the stock fish has an exceptional taste and its termed as Norway’s largest export market for the dried fish in Nigeria.  

                                                             

                                                                         STOCKFISH SELLERS IN ONITSHA,

                                                                                ANAMBRA STATE, NIGERIA.                                                      

                                                                         STOCKFISH SELLERS IN ONITSHA,

                                                                                ANAMBRA STATE, NIGERIA.                                    

History of Stockfish in Nigeria:

Stockfish which originated thousands of miles from Nigeria is a household name in the country. It started in the late 19th century, during the colonial era, when colonial masters gave out stockfish to the locals as gifts. In the early 20th century, the British, having introduced it to the people, decided to use it as "a currency in exchange for raw materials;" it was no more a gift.

Towards the middle of the 20th century, importation of stockfish into the country began. It was first done by the colonial masters, but later by the local merchants.

Then, there was an agreement that covered and united all the importers of stockfish in Nigeria and exporters of stockfish in Norway known as “the National Association of Norwegian Stockfish Exporters and StockFish Import Merchants." During this period, importation of stockfish into Nigerian market was rampant. But the agreement did not last due to constant complaints against it. As a result, in 1951, the consensus ended, and more people went into the importation of the commodity.

The Nigerian civil war of 1967, on the other hand, greatly impacted on the business, and also led to exposition of the products to more Nigerians, especially the people of the Eastern part of the country. At this time, the international humanitarian organizations gave out stockfish to the civil war affected populations" suffering malnutrition. Many children suffered Kwashiorkor at the time. It was the "Biafran" - Nigerian "civil war that set the scene for stockfish to become a must-have ingredient in Nigerian cuisine.”

It was observed that the market reaction for this product slowed down in recent times but thankfully, at present, the market is fast coming back. Just few months back, Nigeria recorded more than seven thousand tons of imports as the staple is becoming more popular and useful to many Nigerian consumers.

Today, "stockfish is among the list of the foreign food products that are usually distributed across the country every year". It is now a staple product that is hugely used by Nigerians in their daily food preparations especially the people of the southern Nigeria.

Nutritional Values of Stockfish:

Obviously, preparing a delicious stock fish requires good raw materials. The cod product is saturated with Vitamins, Vitamins A, Omega 3 fatty oils, Iron and Vitamins E. Also, the dried fish is packed with lots of protein. Truth be said that one kilo of stock fish has quantities of protein when measured with five kilos of fresh cod.

Nutritional value per 100g of Boneless Cod:

Energy......................................................................................315kj

                                                                                              75 kcal

Protein.......................................................................................17 g

Fat

of which

- Saturatedfat............................................................................0.7 g

- Monounsaturated fat............................................................0.08 g

- Polyunsaturated fat..............................................................0.28 g

of which

- Omega 3 (n-3)......................................................................0.24 g

- Omega 6 (n-6)......................................................................0.02 g

 

Cholesterol...............................................................................0 mg

 

Carbohydrates.............................................................................0 g

Vitamins

Thiamine

C

Ribloflavin............................................................................0.04 mg

Niacin........................................................................................4.6 g

B6........................................................................................0.26 mg

Folate......................................................................................12 mg

B12........................................................................................0.8 mg

A...............................................................................................0 mg

D...............................................................................................1 mg

E...............................................................................................1 mg

Minerals

Calcium...................................................................................16 mg

Phosphorus..........................................................................190 mg

Iron........................................................................................0.2 mg

Magnesium.............................................................................28 mg

Potassium.............................................................................355 mg

Zinc........................................................................................0.4 mg

Selenium.................................................................................27 mg

Note: "Dietary composition can affect a number of important risk factors in the development of cardiovascular diseases, including cholesterol levels in the blood, blood pressure and the blood's ability to form blood clots. Bringing dietary content in line with the recommendations of the Directorate of Health can help further reduce occurrences of cardiovascular diseases."

Source: The National Council for Nutrition's Report. “Developments in the Norwegian Diet 2010.” 

References:

Cod Academy: https://cod.fromnorway.com/.

Global FoodBook: https://globalfoodbook.com/benefits-of-dried-cod-stockfish. 

Optimization of Quality and Yield of Stockfish by Endrying in Climatic Controlled Storage: https://brage.bibsys.no/xmlui/bitstream/handle/11250/2566003/Indergard_etal.pdf?sequence=2&isAllowed=y.

Seafood from Norway in Nigeria: https://fromnorway.com/nigeria/seafoodfestival-nigeria/.

Stockfish Codes:

CX: COD WITH COLLARBONES

C: Cod without collarbones

CXX: Cod with collarbones and backbones

HX: Haddock with collarbones

H: Haddock without collarbones

HXX: Haddock with collarbones and backbones

SX: Saith or Sey with collarbones

S: Saith or Sey without collarbones

SXX: Saith or Sey with collarbones and backbones

LX: Ling with collarbones

L: Ling without collarbones

LXX: Ling with collarbones and backbones

C4 or BB-C1: White backbones

S4: Black backbones

CCB: Cod's collarbones

HCB: Haddock's collarbones

SCB: Saith's or Sey's collarbones

CC: Cod's Cutlets

HC: Haddock's Cutlets

SC: Saith's or Sey's cutlets

TC: Tusk's cutlets

C-Cut-A: Cod's fillets without skin

C-Cut-A+: Skinless larger pieces of Cod's fillets

C-Cut-C: Smaller pieces of Cod's fillets with skin and needle-like-bones

S-Cut-A: Saith's or Sey's fillets without skin

C-Cut-B: Cod's fillets with skin

S-Cut-B: Saith's or Sey's fillets with skin

 C-Bale: Headless Cod

S-Bale: Headless Saith or Sey

            

COD (HEADLESS):                HADDOCK HX                   CUTLETS (SC):

Large Size:                             Isi na okpukpu                 1 Sachet: 1. 0kg: 

50 - 70 CM: Uncut:              1 Bag: 30Kg                        ₦5,000.00

1 Hand: 1. 3KG:                    ₦69,000.00

₦13,000.00