Learning how to differentiate Fish: Taste

Fresh Fish are one of those items which intimidate me. There are dozens of varieties, and each one has its own distinct taste and texture. When going to the fish counter, how does one know which fish are good for a specific type of meal? What about substitution?

The trick of course is no trick at all, but simple knowledge. There are three ways to differentiate fish from one another: Taste, texture and fat content. For example, anchovies have a very distinct taste, but are low in fat and have a soft texture, while eel is high in fat and texture but have a less distinct taste than anchovies.

So I’m going to post three articles on how to differentiate fish from one another. The first post (this one), deals with taste.

There are three categories, taste-wise; mild, moderate flavored, and full flavored. They are listed as follows:

Mild: Alaska Pollack, American sole, cod, flounder, freshwater bass, grouper, haddock, hake, halibut, John Dory, monkfish, opakapaka, orange roughy, pike, sea trout, skate, sole, snapper, tilapia, and whitefish.

Moderate Flavored: Anchovies, Arctic char, Atlantic bonito, Atlantic pollack, black sea bass, catfish, drum, herring, Lake trout, mahi mahi, ocean perch, opah, Pacific rockfish, perch, pompano, porgy, Red mullet, salmon (chum and pink), shark, steelhead, striped bass, sturgeon, trout (rainbow), walleye and yellowtail.

Full Flavored: Amberjack, bluefish, Chilean sea bass, cobia, escolar, European sardines, mackeral, sablefish, salmon (Atlantic, Sockeye and King), shad, smelt, swordfish and tuna.

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