Saturday, May 3, 2014

Églefin, Eglefin, Aiglefin, and Haddock, Haddock and Smoked Haddock in French Cuisine.

Behind the French Menu
Bryan G. Newman
Updated December 2019.
Drawing of Haddock from 1872 by the US Fish Commission.
Églefin or Aiglefin, Haddock  –  Haddock is a lean, tender white fish, with flaky meat similar to cod.  On French menus, haddock will be offered smoked, baked, grilled, fried, or poached. Haddock is also more popular in France than it is in the UK or North America and that should not be too surprising as the French eat more fish and seafood per capita than North America or European countries.   
Smoked haddock in France.
When smoked haddock is on a French menu, then the English name haddock is often used; that acknowledges the tradition of smoking haddock began in Scotland. (In Scotland Haddock mostly called Seed Haddock). However, some French chefs prefer their menus to remain entirely French, and those menus will offer smoked haddock as églefin fume or aiglefin fume. 
Haddock on French Menus:

Cannellonis Farcis à l'Églefin Fume – Cannelloni stuffed with smoked haddock. Cannelloni; the popular tube-shaped pasta, about 10 cms  (4”) long by about 1.50 cms (6/10”) diameter. Canneloni is enjoyed in France as much as it is in Italy.

Filet de aiglefin – A haddock filet.
Carpaccio d'Aiglefin Fumé, Vinaigrette de Moutarde à l'Ancienne. - A smoked haddock Carpaccio served with a vinaigrette sauce made with traditional mustard.

There are many different mustards in France, nearly all with claims to traditional formulas, and many French chefs do make their own mustards. In-house mustards are often made in a manner similar to the Moutarde de Meaux, the famed mustard from the town of Meaux. That mustard has its unique taste created by mixing the mustard seeds with water rather than crushing them. (Meaux is more famous for its Brie AOP cheese). Despite many chef's interests in unique mustards, the style of mustard that originated in Dijon is still the most popular in private homes.
Églefin Meunier  - Fresh haddock lightly fried in a meunier butter and lemon sauce. Sauce Beurre Meunière is a simple, but tasty, butter sauce made with lemon juice and parsley added to the melted butter.  

Dishes with the word meunière are often translated into English as a dish prepared in the manner of a miller's wife. However, watermills don't operate in the sea and so there will be few miller's wives associated with the preparation of saltwater fish. Meunière did not originally refer to the cooking habits of the wife of a meunier, French for a miller. This is another urban legend, probably explained by the fact that such recipes sometimes (not always) imply the fish has been rolled in flour before cooking; hence the confusion. The word meunière is related to a mill but historically referred to various species of freshwater fish, then common in French rivers, that went by the name of "meuniers." These fish were frequently caught around water mills because there was a mill pond with plenty of space and food for the fish. In local usage, the separate names of each of these small fish were not then in common usage. Today, of course, you can order sole, or trout, haddock and much other saltwater fish cooked à la meunière and they will be filleted and served ina butter, lemon, and parsley sauce.
Filet d'Églefin aux Moules – Filet of haddock served with mussels.
Filet de Haddock Poché sur Lit de ChoucrouteBeurre Blanc. - A filet of poached, smoked haddock served on a bed of choucroute with a beurre blanc sauceHere the use of the English name for haddock on a French menu indicates smoked haddock. Choucroute is a pickled cabbage dish that originated in the old Alsace region of north-eastern France.

Smoked haddock served with a poached egg,
The smoked haddock dish shown above is a traditional Scottish dish made with a Finnan haddie, and there are French versions of this dish. A Finnan haddie is a cold-smoked haddock and in the picture above the filet is poached, sometimes in milk, and served with a poached egg on top for a traditional Scottish breakfast.
Duo d'Églefin et Saumon – - A dish of haddock and salmon served together to emphasize the different, but complementary, tastes and textures.
Filet d'Églefin Posé sur une Mirepoix de Légumes aux Herbes et Coulis de Crustacés – A fillet of haddock served on a bed of neatly cubed vegetables (mirepoix), flavored with a sauce made of blended crustaceans.
Papillote de Haddock, Courgette Craquante, Crème Ciboulette - Smoked haddock baked inside parchment paper, or aluminum foil to keep all the flavors and fragrances together. When the dish is ready, the papillote, the parchment paper, or aluminum foil container will be opened in front of the diner so he or she may appreciate the concentrated fragrance. The haddock in this menu listing is served with a crisply cooked courgette, the USA zucchini, and a creamy spring onion sauce.

Haddock and cod.

Haddock and cod are related, and the French stockfish or merluche, are dehydrated and salted cod or haddock, recipes for preserving fish that originated in Scandinavia. The tradition of drying fish with the aid of salt began hundreds of years ago; then, that was the only way that fish could be sold inland far from the sea. Special recipes were made for these fish after they had been rehydrated and desalted. Many of these traditional recipes remain very popular in Europe. Dishes made with rehydrated cod and or other similar fish will be on the menu as bacalao in Spain and baccalà in Italy. In the beginning, the fish used would be either cabillaud, cod; haddock, julienne; lingmerlu, hake, and other cod family members; however, today, stockfish or merluche is nearly always identified with cod. The French have created many wonderful dishes with rehydrated cod and other fish. Menus will offer popular traditional dishes with names such as brandade and brandade Nîmoise, estoficado, stocaficado, stockfish à la Niçoise, and many others. orld and the Most Popular Fish in France.

Salted cod drying on racks in Iceland.
France is not alone in having many names that confuse haddock and other members of the cod family. Young haddock are mostly called scrod or schrod in the UK while those same names are both used for young cod and pollack in North America.
The cod and haddock family.
Natural history of the animal kingdom for the use of young people
Brighton :E. & J.B. Young and Co.,1889.
Églefin, Aiglefin or Haddock in the languages of France's neighbours:
(Catalan – eglefí),(Dutch – schelvis), (German –schellfisch),((Italian – asinello, egelfino),  (Spanish – eglefino), 
Églefin, Aiglefin or Haddock in other languages:
Chinese Mandarin -  黑線鱈  )((Danish – kuller), Greek –bakaliaros), (Hebrew –   מרוון – hamor yam - חמור ים ), (Icelandic – Ýsa), (Norwegian -  hyse), (Polish - plamiak a. lupacz), (Portugues – arnica), (Rumanian – aglefin), (Russian – Пикша, piksha),(Swedish – kolja). 

Thanks for most of these translations to: Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2014. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication., version (04/2014)


Bryan G. Newman
Behind the French Menu
Copyright 2010, 2014, 2016, 2019

For information on the unpublished book behind this blog write to Bryan Newman

Searching for the meaning of words, names or phrases
French menus?

Just add the word, words, or phrase that you are searching for to the words "Behind the French Menu" (best when including the inverted commas), and search with Google, Bing, or another browser.  Behind the French Menu’s links, include hundreds of words, names, and phrases that are seen on French menus. There are over 450 articles that include over 4,000 French dishes with English translations and explanations.
 Connected posts:




No comments:

Post a Comment