Salted Cod - White wing or black wing?

Salted cod can be found with white wing or black wing. Which salted cod is better? The myth of salted cod has made the white wing a premium product, in truth, between white wing and black wing salted cod the taste texture and product in general are basically similar.

The production procedure for salted cod, is similar to any other salted fish. It all begins with the splitting of the fish, in general made mechanically with specific machinery to split the salted cod, however in some cases, especially when the fish is large (cod fish can be pretty big), the splitting of the fish is done manually. Just to mention, that historically, in the splitted cod fish business, fish splitters was a very common profession. Nowadays, the automatic splitting machines has substituted most of the old manual procedures for splitting cod.

The splitted cod is then cleaned thoroughly. At this point, white wing or black wing, is critical. Cod fish have a thin black internal skin, which is called peritoneum. The manual removal of the peritoneum, makes the fish a white wing salted cod. If the cod fish is simply just clean and salted, the fish will be a traditional black wing salted fish.
So, a white wing and black wing salted cod fish are similar, the small difference is the removal of a thin black skin, called peritoneum, during the splitting procedure.

So why offer white wing salted fish at a higher price?

Two main reasons for such a myth to continue. White wing salted fish has been promoted as a premium quality, although the extraction of the peritoneum, is an additional production procedure, mot enough to justify the price difference between white wing and black wing salted cod. The market values whiter products, therefore to some consumers will have preference for this product despite the fact that it has a premium on its price tag.

Just to add that it is common for some markets to favor white wing and other to favor black wing salted cod. And we can find these types of products in Pacific Cod Gadus macrocephalus and Atlantic Cod Gadus morhua. The majority of salted cod is done with black wing, it's the most standard type of salted cod. The famous Islandic salted cod fish is all black wing.

I can guarantee one thing, its not due to the colour of the wing of a cod fish that you will have a better fish meal. Critical for a salted cods quality are other factors, like the capture method, the correct splitting method, a good salt cure for example.