Just what is that fish on the menu?

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Florida Guide > Dining

Just what is that fish on the menu?

Florida is famed for its fresh fish and many restaurants are proud of the varieties on their menus. However, it is not always quite so straightforward to recognise some of the more unfamiliar names mentioned, I shall endeavour to put a little light on the subject.

Grouper

Grouper fish are a member of the Sea Bass family and are found in tropical and warm temperate waters. Red and black grouper is fished off Florida but most restaurants serve the red variety. Due to low stocks the fishing is regulated to ensure that over fishing does not take place and restaurants in Florida will be fined heavily if they are found to be advertising as serving grouper and using a substitute fish. Grouper is a very popular restaurant choice as 4oz of uncooked grouper only contains 110 calories and very little fat so wonderful for those watching their weight.

Shrimp

Somewhat easier this explanation as US shrimp is very similar to the prawns easily available in the UK.

MahiMahi

MahiMahi is the Hawaiian name for dolphin fish although they are neither dolphin nor mammals. The fish is white in colour and is caught in the Caribbean Sea.

Snapper

This fish obtained its name due to the canine-like teeth if its upper jaw that can snap vigorously. Demand for red snapper is high and on occasions rockfish is served in its place.

Tilapia

Tilapia is farmed sea bream, a white fish with a very gentle flavour. A popular fish even for diners who perhaps consider they don’t really like fish!

Sea Scallops

Sea scallops are caught in the Atlantic, largely off the coast of the state of Maine. Generally they are disc shaped about the size of a 50p and a quarter to a third of an inch thick. The flesh is generally white but occasionally has an orange tinge due to the algae that they eat.

Snow Crab Legs

These are very popular but may prove to be a little tricky to eat.

Use a cracker to break open the claw portion of the snow crab legs. You can easily snap the thinner legs with your fingers. The meat typically comes out in one large chunk, unlike other types of crab legs that come out in flaky pieces which are difficult to eat.

Alligator

Yes, you will sometimes see alligator on a menu. Generally it is the tail meat that is served and, apparently, it tastes a little like chicken. Health wise it is very low in fat and cholesterol.

Restaurants will generally offer fish as either broiled, grilled or blackened. Broiled is with the heat source over the fish as grilling is in the UK. Grilled food has the heat underneath similar to a barbecue and blackened is self-explanatory. Battered fish is available but more commonly fish is breaded.

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