The red mullet uses the two long threads of beard on its lower jaw to track down and taste its food. These include crabs and mussels.
- DESCRIPTIONThe Mullidae family includes around 80 different species, one of which is the red mullet. They are bottom fish that live in small schools in temperate and tropical seas. To track down, feel and taste their food, goatfish have two long, fork-shaped whiskers on their lower jaw. Red mullets have silvery gray, red shimmering scales, a light belly and an angular head. Their dorsal fins are far apart, the caudal fin is slightly forked. The red mullet can reach a length of just over 30 centimeters, with the animals becoming on average 20 centimeters long and 1.5 kilograms. The red mullet eats small crustaceans, clams and other invertebrates.
- OCCURRENCERed mullets are mainly found in the eastern Atlantic, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. They prefer soft sandy subsoil at a depth of 2 to 20 meters. In subtropical coastal waters, such as the Azores, one can find red mullet at a depth of up to 65 meters. In general, the red mullet hangs near the coast in summer, while it can also be seen in deeper waters from autumn to spring.
- FISHING METHODSIn commercial fisheries, red mullets are fished with gill nets, drift nets and bottom trawls.
- SEASONThe red mullet is caught and traded all year round.
- TASTEThe red mullet tastes very spicy and a little nutty and can be a bit too intense for beginners. It has tender meat, which made it a highly valued food fish in ancient Greece and Rome. After preparation, the meat is light pink to white.
- PREPARATIONThe best way to fry the red mullet as a fillet is only on the scaled side of the skin or grill it whole. It is a standard ingredient in the famous bouillabaisse fish stew.
THE SPICY ONE