les marchés de poissons

February 22nd, 2011

les marchés de poissons

When you visit a market in France, deciphering vegetables is generally obvious. The appearance, despite the French sign, gives it away.  “Un chou-fleur” which looks a cauliflower, is a cauliflower.

Fish is trickier.  Moreover, there are many fish in France that are not available in the States.  Here are some pointers should you want to purchase fresh fish in a French fish market (or order fish on a menu). Remember that fish (as well as vegetables) is purchased by the kilogram, not the pound.  Approximately 2.2 pounds equal to 1 kilogram. The following describe how the fish is cut or caught:

  • pêche locale” means that the fish was fished locally.
  • de côte means “of the coast.”  For example barbue de côte means that the fish, barbue (brill), was caught right there on the coast.
  • de ligne” means the fish was line-caught.
  • griller”, for example, “saumon à griller”, means that that salmon is good for grilling.
  • sur arêtes” means that the fish has not been filleted and still has its backbone (une arête is a fish bone).
  • joue”  is a cheek.   “Joue de lotte is a monkfish cheek.

  • les filets” is fillets (i.e., les filets de Maquereau” are mackerel fillets)
  • goujonnette” is a long piece of fish (or it can be meat) cut sideways and fried.
  • la darne is a steak of fish as opposed to a fillet (i.e., la darne de saumon is a salmon steak).

The following is list of the most common fish you will find in France in the markets with a short description.

Bonnes courses !


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