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What on Earth is a cod tongue?

A fish’s tongue is nothing like ours. A fish tongue is the bony structure on the floor of the mouth. So why would you want to eat that? In fact, the cod tongue is not at all a tongue, it is a piece of flesh, a muscle, cut out from the neck of the cod.

It can still sound a bit odd, even gross, but the cod tongue is actually quite delicious. The texture is meaty, somewhat gelatinous, and tastes almost like scallops. The size of it makes it perfect as a starter, and easy to dare to try. I must say, the cod tongue is one of my own favourites!

In Norway, cod tongues have been considered a real delicacy for ages. A long and important tradition at the coast of northern Norway, is also youngsters earning extra money, cutting out the tongues. Even today, fisheries donate the fish heads to kids and teenagers. After the fish has been brought to shore, the heads get delivered to the tongue cutters, tungeskjaererne. While cutting out the tongues, they earn good money, and at the same time they get introduced to the fishing industry. Win-win.

Battered and deep-fried, the cod tongue is crispy but soft inside. Together with fermented lemon mayonnaise, the taste is so nice, and it makes you want more. The perfect appetizer, or have it as a snack. Try it, you won’t regret it!

Why the tongue, not being a tongue, is called a tongue, remains a mystery…


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