August 1, 2014

Fish Friday

I was thinking broiled fish when I went to Walmart to shop today, but the store had frozen cod, so I decided to make cod au gratin. I discovered this dish years ago when visiting St. John’s, Newfoundland. It is the classic dish of Newfoundland and the dish that convinced me that cod can be terrific. (My previous experience with cod was limited to being given cod liver oil as a child. The memory is not a fond one.)

Offending packageCod au gratin is really pretty simple, just a bechamel sauce with onion over pieces of cod, baked in a dish covered in breadcrumbs and grated cheese. The dish was tasty—I could have made the sauce a bit thicker—and I took the opportunity to open the bottle of Riesling I bought on my recent trip to Ontario. (See  “Ontario Wine Country.”)

I did have a minor problem, however. The recipe called for one pound of fish, and the package of frozen cod I bought at Walmart clearly announced “NET WT 16 OZ (454 g).” After I defrosted the contents, however, I weighed the fish. The four pieces of cod weighed 13-3/8 ounces. Perhaps they weighed 16 ounces when frozen, though the package did not suggest that water contributed to the nominal 16 ounce weight. Moreover, the Nutrition Facts on the side of the package began
Serving Size 4 oz (113g) raw
Servings per Container about 4
(approx. 3–6 fillets)
My conclusion is that Walmart is cheating consumers and, I assume, violating the law.

Many products carry the URL of a Web site or a telephone number for consumer questions and complaints. Not this package. All it says is
DISTRIBUTED BY: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Bentonville, AR 72716
I may return the package to the store. Or, perhaps, I will contact the Pennsylvania Attorney General.

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