FORK-BEARD (PHYSIS PHYSIS)
These individuals belong to the Gadiform Order, where cod-fish also is included. This species can reach more than 65cm long and weight more than 4kg. These fishes are distributed from 0-600m and are nocturnal predators, preying other fish and crustaceans.
It´s meat is extremely delicate and succulent. Traditionally, it is the first kind of fish given to young children. In traditional cuisine, it is frequently fried as fillet. Very appreciated in Azores, it is a product with great potential when well handled. Thus, we suggest our clients to, at least, eviscerate the fishes as soon as possible to keep their amazing characteristics.
SPLENDID ALFONSINO (BERYX SPLENDENS)
This specie belongs to the Berycidae, living in depths between 25 and 1300. It is a commercially important species, and the annual changes to the fishing quotas reflect the great concern from authorities and also fishermen.
The Red Bream is very appreciated by the Azoreans, as it´s meat is excellent for grilling or roasting. The cooker has be cautious not to overcook as it may lose its natural juices.
BLUEFISH (POMATOMUS SALTATOR)
This specie belongs to the Pomatomidae family. It is a formidable predator, hunting either alone or in schools. It is essentially pelagic, but they can live occur down to 200m.
Due to its behavior, it is not a target for any specific fishing effort. However, its meat is a true delicacy, with a texture that one could describe as a mix between tuna and amberjack.
Traditionally its used for roasting, demanding attention not to overcook it. If the option is to grill it, a preference is given to put its steaks or fillets on the plate, rather than barbecuing it.
YELLOWMOUTH BARRACUDA (SPHYRAENA VIRIDENSIS)
These animals are active predators. They are found both close to the shore and offshore, nearby seamounts. They hunt in schools when juvenile, and tend to hunt alone when fully grown.
This specie is frequently captured in Azores and, thus, is very common in our Gastronomy. Quite low in fat content, but with a great texture and flavor, it is usually fried, grilled or roasted. Its eggs are absolutely amazing when lightly boiled and then fried or in salads.
For its characteristics and availability, it is being sought by many Chefs to experiment new and appealing recipes, with an amazing cost-benefit ratio.
BLUE-MOUTH / BLACKBELLY ROSEFISH (HELICOLENUS DACTYLOPTERUS DACTYLOPTERUS)
This species belongs to the Sebastidae, occurs in depths of 150m and 600m. They feed on crustaceans, fish and cephalopods.
It is a very tasty fish, as most “scorpion-fishes” are, being very versatile throughout the Mediterranean cuisine and, consequently, in the Azorean one. It is often considerate as an accessory species when fishing for Red Sea Beam.
It has poisonous spikes, so caution is advised when handling it. Its meat has a consistent texture, a delicate flavor and a good proportion of fat. It releases an amazing aroma when grilled or even when roasted.
It is an excellent bet for those who seek the “one fish per person” proportion in their cookings.
BALLAN WRASSE (LABRUS BERGYLTA)
This species occurs in depths ranging from 0 to 50m. According to the literature , it is a carnivorous species, preying small mollusks and crustaceans. However, it is frequent to find seaweeds in their stomachs.
The traditional season to consume this species is from January to May. In fact, there is a popular saying that goes “a Ballan Wrasse” in January is worth a sheep”. They are fleshy and juicy, whose meat is relatively poor in fat, and thus, prone to being frozen for a long time.
Traditionaly, it is most frequently cooked in the oven and, for its slight seafood taste, it is often used for cooking wonderful fish soups. Frying it is a common way to cook it.
OCEAN BONITO / SKIPJACK TUNA (KATSUWONUS PELAMIS)
It belongs to the Scombridae family. It is a fast growing animal reaching its most frequent weight in only a few years. It is common in most Seas, it representing about 40% of the World’s total Tuna fish captures. This species spawns several times a year, which, allied to a responsible managing, helps to maintain the stocks healthy.
When it comes to gastronomy, it needs no introduction. From sushi to some of the most emblematic recipes from Mediterranean countries, it suits them all. In Azores, it very much used by tuna canning industries.
Due to its current demand and market characteristics, we advise our clients to order with 2 or 3 months in advance.
SPANISH MACKREL / CHUB MACKREL (SCOMBER JAPONICUS)
This species belongs to the Scombridae Family, occurring from dephs of 0 to 300m. They form enormous migratory schools, feeding upon small fish. Their reproduction and development is very rapid and sexual maturity is attained in about three years.
It is a fat fish with an extremely characteristic flavor, very much used by Industry. Nowadays it is common to grill it or roast it. Locally, it is very commonly fried or boiled.
Its omega 3 content, along with the reasonable price, help people choosing it for health reasons. In fact, the amount of omega 3 is almost twice the one found in salmon. When compared to tuna, it has a low content in mercury, meaning that it can be consumed more regularly.
STONE BASS / WRECK-FISH (POLYPRION AMERICANUS)
This species belongs to the Serranidae Family. The adult specimens occur in dephs between 100m and 200m. They feed on fish, crustaceans and cephalopods.
Their commercial value is high. They have amazing characteristics: succulent and firm, one can cook it in whatever way imaginable. Its meat has a wonderfull proportion of fat, which means that freezing is a good option.
For these reasons, it is an excellent investment.
BLUE JACK MACKAREL (TRACHURUS PICTURATUS)
It belongs to the Carangídean Family. They occur between 0m and 370m and prey on plankton (crustaceans).
It is a traditional fish in the Azorean gastronomy and, in the past, saved people from starving. Due to its relative abundance, it has been used to elaborate new recipes based on traditional ones. Fried, in the oven or boiled served with different kinds of sauces, it is absolutely amazing for either simple or elaborate cuisine.
As it is most common in Azores, it is a good choice for those who seek innovation in places where it doesn’t exist.
CONGER EEL (CONGER CONGER)
It belongs to the Congridae Family. Exceptionally they can reach up to 3m long and weight 100kg. They are nocturnal fish, mollusks and crustacean predators. The most common specimens, with commercial interest weight around 12kg to 25kg, because with this size, the steaks are much sought.
This species has a low fat content, and it’s a very healthy as food. Even though it is quite tasty with firm texture, proper seasoning is needed to enhance its qualities. Overall, in the Portuguese cuisine, it very much used to cook fish stews and fish rice (frequently in combination with seafood).
We suggest our clients to eviscerate the product as soon as possible, in order to keep the full characteristics of the product.
GUELLY JACK (PSEUDOCARANX DENTEX)
This species belongs to the Carangidae and occurs between 0m and 70m. They are effective predators, and can hunt in group or alone. This is a major factor conditioning their capture.
Like Amberjacks, their meat is very appreciated in local gastronomy, especially during the summer. A fantastic texture, a characteristic flavor and juicy meat, mean a sure success grilled, roasted or stewed.
The abdominal area is very tasty, and thus, we recommend the client to eviscerate and wash that particular area, to keep its flavor.
BLACKTAIL COMBER (SERRANUS ATRICAUDA)
This species belongs to the Serranidae Family. They are carnivorous, living in coastal areas, where they prey several small fish, crustaceans and cephalopods. They occur in rocky substrates from 0m down to 90m.
Its characteristic flavor comes from their feeding pattern, unique to Azores. They have a delicate flavor and a firm texture which take them to be traditionally grilled, boiled or roasted.
It is a perfect choice to “serve a fish per person”.
RED SEA BEAM ( PAGELLUS BOGARAVEO)
This species belongs to the Sparidae Family, occurring between 150m and 700m. They are omnivorous.
It is an extremely important species to the Fishing Sector in Azores, if not the most important. For this reason and to prevent overfishing, a closed season has been declared between January 15 and February 29.
Its commercialization has a peak during Christmas, when great quantities are exported to Spain, Canada, USA and France.
Their consistent and tasty meat, with a great aroma, leads chefs allover to cook this product by roasting it. Traditionally a wood oven is used.
ALFONSINO / RED BEAM (BERYX DECADACTYLUS
This species occurs between 100m and 1000m, depending on the authors. Like the Red Sea Bream their stocks have a tight vigilance to avoid overfishing. However, present stocks are healthy.
This species has a great economical importance in Azores and most of the captures are destined to exportation.
For its characteristics, its mainly used for roasting and grilling (mainly barbecued).
AMBERJACK / ALMACO JACK (SERIOLA DUMERILI E S. RIVOLIANA)
Both species are a part of the carangidae Family. They are pelagic predators, occurring in Azores mainly during the summer, since this is the spawning season. They live usually between 0m and 100m.
Their meat is extremely tasty, juicy and firm. In our traditional Gastronomy, they are among the most sought out fish of all, since they are excellent for barbecuing. However, grilled on the plate and cooked in the oven, they are exquisite.
It is a fantastic product for those who seek a versatile product with an amazing flavor.
DUSKY GROUPER / DUSKY PERCH (EPINEPHELUS MARGINATUS)
This species live preferentially in rocky places, between 3 and 200m, although can occasionally be found down to 400m. However, the adult are more commonly found between 15 and 100m. They don’t exceed 40kg and are active predators, feeding on fish, mollusks and crustaceans.
They are extremely appreciated in all of the Mediterranean Countries, as well as in Azores. It is used in many different types of recipes: fried, roasted or grilled.
It truly is a great product to make a difference.
MORAY EEL / MEDITERRANEAN MORAY (MURAENA HELENA)
This fish belongs to the Morenideae Family and can easly reach 1,50m (and more) weighing 5,5kg or 6kg. They are carnivorous, feeding on fish, squids or cephalopods. Occasionally they act as scavengers.
They are very commonly used in our traditional Gastronomy, where it usually fried or, in case of larger exemplars, in fish stews.
Due to their feeding patterns, we suggest our clients to eviscerate it and remove the clothed blood under the spine as soon as possible, to keep its flavor and properties, especially because the best parts are those of the abdominal area.
COMMON SEA BEAM (PAGRUS PAGRUS)
This species belongs to the Sparidae, occurring between 50m and 150m. They are effective predators with a masticatory apparatus well developed for catching other fish, squids, crustaceans and echinoderms.
Their meat is very much appreciated, as it is firm with a very good taste, especially roasted in the oven. The head of big exemplars is usually boiled and eaten as a delicacy.
LEATHER-JACKET / GREY TRIGGER-FISH (BALISTES CAROLINENSIS)
It is a species belonging to the Balistidae Family. They have daily habits, posses a thick skin and an extremely strong masticatory apparatus which they use to eat just about anything.
Their taste is absolutely amazing. Beneath their thick skin, two outstandingly juicy, tender and tasty fillets can be found.
Most frequently, it is grilled on the plate with or without sauces to accompany.
THORNBACK SKATE / THORNBACK RAY (RAJA CLAVATA )
This species live in sandy sea bottoms.
It is very much used in fish stews, due to their juicy and tender meat. If in good conditions, it sets a difference when properly used.
RED SCORPION FISH (SCORPAENA SCROFA)
They are a carnivorous species, usually occurring from 20m to 200m. Their captures are rarely massive in Azores, due to the natural dispersion of the exemplars on the sea bottom and the absence of trawl fishing.
As with all the scorpion-fishes, one must be careful with their spikes, as some of them are poisonous.
Traditionally it is nicked-named as “lobster” for the similarities concerning the texture and taste of their meat. In fact one of the ways to use this product is to make salads in order to replace lobster. However, it is also very much used in roasts or boiled.
WHITE SEA BREAM (DIPLODUS SARGUS CADENATI)
This species occurs down to 20m-30m.
Its taste is very variable, depending on the feeding patterns. For many, the taste is very different from the ones in Portuguese mainland. They especially prey barnacles, limpets and other mollusks and crustaceans.
Their abdominal area is very sensitive to the prolonged presence of the viscera. Therefore, we suggest our clients to eviscerate the fish and to scrape the “black matter” present in the abdominal cavity.
Traditionally it is very much used to cook fish soups. It also is a true wonder when grilled or roasted.
ATLANTIC BONITO (SARDA SARDA)
It is a species belonging to the Scobridae Family. They prey on fish and have a very quick growth rate: around 50cm in a year.
It is an important fish for the local economy, due to its quality, flavor and market expression.
Gastronomically, they are tuna fish, so we suggest eviscerating them as soon as possible, especially because the bellies are very tasty and appreciated.
When well prepared, it is an excellent way to substitute other species of tuna fish that can be more difficult to find. Thus, as an example, the sushi market is starting to take proper advantage of this species.
PARROTFISH (SPARISOMA CRETENSE)
It is a species belonging to the scaridae family. They occur most frequently from 0m to 20m, where they feed mostly on algae and small invertebrates and some crustaceans.
It is a fish that presents some amazing characteristics for several kinds of preparations. Their texture and flavor make it possible to fry, roast or boil it. In the past it was used in the same way as cod-fish: dried on the sun, after salt was applied.
However, their digestive tube is quite long, in order to digest the algae that they eat. So, like in many other fish, is very important to eviscerate and clean the abdominal wall.
If properly handled, it is one of the most interesting species to commercialize.
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