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Fish - Pesca

Fish - Pesca

Postby marcliff » Wed Nov 04, 2015 2:16 pm

So, fish (or pesca). Thanks for choosing an easy one. Some of you who have been here for some time will realise the Spanish will virtually eat anything that comes out of the sea (to a lesser extent, lakes). Depending on the season, you will see all varieties of seafood and I wouldn't know half of them in English let alone Spanish.
In Carrefour, I once saw piles of murex. Now, these are a bit like sea slugs in a little horned shell. Highly prized among the Romans and Greeks because of the deep purple dye they produce hence the imperial robes. I don't see many Spanish wearing deep purple togas so I assume they do eat them.

If I miss out any of your favourites I apologise but here are some of the ones I know and have tried. I haven't been quite brave enough to try some of them.

It's important to know that you can buy fish entero (whole) or filete (filleted and bones removed). The entero will be cheaper as it includes the head, tail, skin, innards etcand is weighed like that. The Pescadero (fishmonger - as opposed to pescador - fisherman) will then cut out the bits you don't want and you can either keep the bits or discard them. Filete will cost more as it has already had the bits removed.

Cod - bacalao. We all know what cod is. However, have you ever bought some, taken it home to cook and wondered why it was so salty? Well, you bought it like that. It will be labelled bacalao salado or bacalao de sal. Either salt added to preserve it or caught in the very salty waters of the Bay of Biscay as opposed to North Sea cod like we are used to. You should try and remove the salt by pouring boiling water over it, cover it and leave in the fridge overnight. Next morning, drain the water and soak in cold water for a few hours. If it still tastes really salty then bring a pan of water to the boil and simmer for around 20 minutes.

Hake - merluza. Generally not salty and a good alternative to cod.
Panga - same in Spanish. This comes from Vietnamese rivers and is sold as a cheap alternative to cod. It has the same texture but, to my mind, is very bland. Popular in Spain because it is cheap and usually served with some type of sauce to hid the blandness.
Sole - lenguado. One of my favourites. There are several types with lenguado de Dover (obviously Dover sole) in some places, lenguado tigre (tiger sole) a smaller version equivalent to our lemon sole. Weighed whole and the pescadero will then cut the bottom skin off. Watch out for bones.
Halibut - rodaballo. Prepared in much the same way sole.
Monkfish - rape. Ever wondered what that ugly looking thing is on the counter? Probably monkfish or rape (pronounced ra pay). Never tried it so you're on your own there.
Skate - raya. Prepared in the same way as other flatfish. Slightly blander than lenguado (sole).
Sardines - sardinas. Fresh sardines are so much better than the tinned ones and are quite a bit larger. Excellent on the barbecue (wrap them in foil, grill them and when you remove the foild the skin will peel off).
Salmon - salmon. Yep, same spelling but the emphasis is on the o not the a. Salmon de Cantabria will be Spanish but is quite difficult to get so most of it comes from Norway (Salmon Noruega). Again, entero or filete.
Trout - trucha. Not very popular amongst the Spanish so can be very cheap. My wife likes this and we bought half a dozen rainbow trout at AlCampo for a euro each (I have to cut the heads and tails off before she'll touch them).
Sea bream - besugo, mojarra or brema depending on type. Some of the most popular, and most expensive, fish in Spain. Note that the most expensive is gilt head bream and is called Dorada in Spanish.
The small, golden orange coloured fish you sea and called salmonete is mullet.
Sea bass - lubina. Very nice alternative to bream and not so expensive.
Octopus - pulpo. Yep, straight octopus. So fresh you can see them walking across the fish counter. Legs (with the suckers) are a delicacy and the body is extensively used. Yes, I have tried it and it is a nice alternative to the flakiness of fish. Pulpo en tinta is octopus in its ink.
Squid - calamar. Often cut into rings and fried and we call it calamare.
You will see baskets or packets of what looks like worms. These are angulas and are actually young eels or elvers. Often called the caviare of Spain but I haven't tried those either.

So, that's about it for the fishy side. As I said, there are tons more which I can't identify nor even have the inclination to try.

I'll leave it at that for the moment. The next bit will probably be the one most of you are waiting for - shellfish. This deserves a topic of its own as they are so varied.
Edited to add:
The good lady has pointed out I've missed one of her favourites. Atun - yes, tuna with the a at the front.
Now, we've all had the tins of the stuff in oil or brine but fresh, whole tuna is so different. Roasted or grilled in steaks it makes a delicious, meaty meal. We bought some from AlCampo and it was great in the oven just cooked in foil with some lemon juice and olive oil. Sticking it on the BBQ and it was even better. Meatier than salmon and not as smelly as swordfish it is well worth trying.
Last edited by marcliff on Thu Nov 05, 2015 1:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fish - Pesca

Postby Dot » Wed Nov 04, 2015 3:30 pm

GREAT!! Thank you :text-goodpost:
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Re: Fish - Pesca

Postby scubydoo » Wed Nov 04, 2015 3:47 pm

Well done again.

:text-goodpost:
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Re: Fish - Pesca

Postby Dot » Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:27 pm

Cheese please!
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Re: Fish - Pesca

Postby Dot » Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:28 pm

I love Spanish cheese smellier the better.
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Re: Fish - Pesca

Postby dolores » Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:51 pm

Thank you for such an interesting post on fish , very useful
:text-goodpost:
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Re: Fish - Pesca

Postby SALUKI » Thu Nov 05, 2015 8:02 am

Pesca is the living version. Pescado is the death fish you buy at the pescaderia or eat at the restaurant.
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