Best season to travel to Newfoundland and Labrador

Cod Tongues and Cheeks

Once a waste and today an exquisite delicacy—try some during the cod fishing season


Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin
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Local legend says that hundreds of years ago, cod was so abundant in the sea, that one could cross the waters walking on the backs of fish. This scene might be an exaggeration, but the fish indeed used to be a staple food in most rural areas of Newfoundland and Labrador. Back then, tongues and cheeks used to be considered waste until the collapse of the fishery. Today, the dish is Newfoundland's favorite delicacy. Actually, a cod tongue is a gelatinous piece of flesh taken from the fish's throat, while cod cheek is a small muscle taken from the fish's neck. Some time might be needed to develop a real taste for it.

To try an exclusive plate of freshly fried cod tongues and cheeks, you should be there during the limited recreational groundfish fishery season. Normally, the cod fishing season encompasses about 40 days from July to September (rarely late June through early October). Cod fishing is allowed mostly on weekends. For more precise information, check the official fishing season schedule on the Fisheries and Oceans Canada website.

St. John's is a true paradise for cod tongue connoisseurs. However, you may order a plate of this delicacy in other small towns across Newfoundland.

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