Fishy question and answers Part 2
So happy to have so many questions about fishing and cooking fish. So lets get straight into them. I hope that my answers are informative
I see ‘white fish’ sold in supermarkets. What is it?
That is a very good question. Can’t say without seeing it. But I would suggest if you see a product being sold as ‘white fish’, it could be anything so don’t buy it. There are so many fish with white meat and all differ in quality taste and texture. If you buy this product you have no idea what you are buying unless it says the Latin name on the lable. If that’s not evident, and in Hong Kong it should be, stay well away. Be sensible. If not for a food safety reason then also to ensure you don’t get ripped off.
Is Chilean seabass a seabass? I’ve heard it isn’t.
It isn’t. Chilean seabass is the marketing name for the Patagonian Toothfish, probably one of the nicest fish you will find. The real name does not sound very appealing, correct?? So, they devised this name as part of a marketing campaign to sell the product mainly in the USA. It worked. This is now the name it its generally known by.
What’s the difference between Atlantic cod and Pacific cod?
Hmmm. Possibly the name gives that answer away. Atlantic cod is caught in the Atlantic or waters on the Atlantic side of the USA. Pacific cod is caught on the Pacific side. Although similar species, they are different in taste and texture. The Atlantic has a much firmer textured and tasty meat, verses the Pacific which is softer due to a higher water content.
What is the best cod to eat?
Now that is a difficulty question. It really does depend on your pallet and how you are cooking. My personal preference is probably the Atlantic cod. And so, say the British. Can’t be fish and chips and Atlantic cod is the traditional ingredient for that?
Is there a Vietnamese sole fish?? I heard it was a cat fish
There is a Vietnamese sole. It is a wild caught fish from the Vietnamese coastal waters, but is generally not sold in retail. The common fish sold from Vietnam is pangasius or basa. This is a farmed fish and is a river catfish. However, similar to the Chilean seabass above, when it was initially sold, catfish of course was not going to work so they then used a variety of names Vietnamese sole being one and ridiculously, Dory sole being another. You still see these alternate names occasionally, but in most markets the authorities have clamped down. Bottom line, don’t by Vietnamese sole. It is a misnomer.
Can you really get organic fish?
Yes, you can, but it has to be farmed. Farming allows for the feed to be regulated. You cannot get organic wild caught fish. Reason? you cannot guarantee what it has fed on or what is in the water. Just tread carefully.
Someone was selling Dover sole the other day, from Canada. Is that possible?
If you mean Dover sole, as in from Canadian waters, then the answer is a definitive ‘No’. However, certain suppliers in Canada do market their ‘common sole’ ( Solea vulgaris) as Dover sole. There is no comparison between the Canadian fish and the real Dover sole, the European Dover sole. Don’t be taken in. The real dover sole is a quality seasonal fish and because of that is quite costly.
Is Greenland halibut from Greenland?
Greenland Halibut is again a marketing term. The fish is in fact a European turbot. It’s a great fish, excellent in fact. It can be fished off Greenland but in fact it is fished the whole length of the west coast of North America in fishing areas FAO21 and 27.
So, there are eight more questions and, I hope, eight informative answers.
Send me more questions of you like via firstname.lastname@example.org or send a query to the website.
Ill cover more on labelling in couple of weeks.
Stay well out there
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