How Did Haddock Become King Of New York Fish Fry?
Fish Fry Friday is a staple in Upstate New York and if you don't understand chances are you are not from here. Case in point, college students that come here from the city can't seem to understand what the draw is for Haddock on Fish Fry Friday.
The bottom line is, Haddock, it's an upstate thing and it's big.
Thanks to the large number Roman Catholics that live in upstate, and the 40 day period of lent you could probably call this ground from Buffalo to Albany the Haddock Belt. I would venture a guess every restaurant, firehouse, church, and tavern have run a fish fry at least once and more than likely it's every Friday especially during Lent. for local restaurants.
If you've been to a fish fry in upstate New York more than likely the fish served was Haddock, Haddock beat hands down, cod, catfish, flounder, pollock or any other fish you can name especially during Lent when fish fry literally pop up everywhere.
The volume of haddock consumed on Friday nights in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany is staggering" says David Bluhm of Channel Fish Processing, a South Boston seafood supplier in business since the 1940's
Some people think it goes back to the Catholic immigrants, the Irish, Italians, Germans, and the Polish. The fish dinner was an inexpensive, easy dinner to bring home.
Both Haddock and cod are fished in the North Atlantic and both take well to frying. But haddock has a stronger and fishier flavor, especially when served skin on, as is common at much Upstate fish fry dinners.
In Upstate, if it's haddock, it's going to be skin-on, said Bluhm of the Boston fish supplier Channel Fish. Without the skin, I don't know if I could tell the difference, and I been in the business for 40 years."