North Atlantic Hake have been fished out of the Gulf of Maine since Basque fishermen discovered the fishing grounds before Columbus "discovered" America. Also referred to as "Hake" or "Ocean Whitefish"by Maine Fishermen, Hake stands today as an incredible animal that is gaining menu recognition in some of the city's best known restaurants
Offshore hake caught in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic and New England with bottom trawls is a "Good Alternative." There's uncertainty about the abundance of offshore hake due to unreliable data. However, management measures reduce the fisheries' impacts on other at-risk species such as cod and summer flounder.
There are a variety of species of this animal in many oceans of the world, and it has long been a favorite of the Portuguese (pescada), French (merlu) Spaniards (merluza) and even New Zealanders. Some traditional European dishes include the fish with Salsa Verde, Stuffed with Chopped Egg and Ham, Poached with Boiled Onions and Potatoes served with a Sweet Pepper Sauce, and even salted for use in Brandade.
Merluza is an excellent and affordable substitute for recipes that call for Cod, Haddock, and in many recipes calling for Halibut. Their raw flesh is lean, and white to off-white in color. Mild yet sweet in flavor & more delicate than Cod in texture, Merluza is best purchased and cooked at absolute freshness for optimum results.