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Bass, a delicious healthy fish

Wiki Spanish Food editorial team

The bass is a member of the Moronidae family, and is abundant is practically all Spanish coasts, although larger specimens generally come from the Cantabrian sea and the Atlantic coast of Galicia. It's also very common in the Mediterranean and on the Atlantic coast of Andalusia, and its quality does not vary excessively as a result of provenance.

Bass is available in the market all year long. Both wild bass, which has more delicate meat, and those raised on fish farms (a practice which is increasingly popular) are equally delicious. Currently, the majority of bass available in the market comes from fish farms and is more affordable; however, regardless of where they come from, they're healthy, due to their low level of fat and high mineral content, including sodium, potassium, iron, and most notably, vitamin B.

A carnivorous, predatory fish

With its slender, svelte shape, shiny grey body and white belly, the bass is known as a carnivorous, predatory fish which, with a half-open mouth, generally feeds on small crustaceans and shrimp, preying only on fish smaller than itself. As a result of these feeding habits, its meat has an extraordinarily subtle and refined flavor.

Since catching bass is a challenge, it's a much sought-after trophy for recreational fishing fans, who must follow the species to the most unsuspecting of places in an effort to catch them.

Although bass has been fished for a very long time, the Romans considered it a luxury, due to its delicate flavor and smooth texture. It truly triumphed in gastronomy relatively recently, in the 18th century. However, as legend has it, bass was served at Charlemagne's coronation in the 8th century.

It is currently prepared in the most surprising of recipes, although more common preparations include bass with green pepper, in puff pastry, with orange, baked, grilled, with fennel, in a garlic sauce, steamed, in a salt crust (very common in the Mar Menor, Murcia region), etc. It can be served in fillets, slices, or whole, since anything goes with a fish like this, which is highly versatile and respected by foodies.  

Smooth sauces and white wines

Lukewarm or cold, bass pairs perfectly with smooth, balanced sauces, such as mayonnaise and tartar. Bass lends itself to myriad recipes, and is truly a treat, with the result that it's a popular item on menus at all types of restaurants. It goes best with dry white wines aged in wood, especially more traditional recipes, such as baked and in a salt crust.

From Galicia and Andalusia to Madrid

This fish aligns perfectly with modern-day cooking, and many restaurants serve it all year long. In Fisterra (A Coruña), you're best bet in the area is TIRA DO CORDEL, which is famous for its grilled dishes and serves a delicious grilled bass. In the lovely fishing village of O Grove (Pontevedra), D’BERTO is one of the top spots for seafood on the coast. They usually serve fresh-caught grilled or baked bass. At EL CLAUSTRO, at Hotel AC Palacio de Santa Paula (Granada), Juan Andrés Rodríguez Morillas (a past participant in the Bocuse d'Or) takes a more creative approach with his bass fillet at 62º. And in Madrid, considered home to some of the best fish and seafood, fans can shop at PESCADERIAS CORUÑESAS which, for more than 70 years, has been the city's leading fish market, selling fish and seafood of the highest quality.

To try traditional dishes, such as bass in a salt crust, we suggest LA DORADA in Madrid and LA LONJA in Pozuelo de Alarcón, two restaurants where fish is given pride of place on the menu.

ADDRESSES

TIRA DO CORDEL. Lugar de San Roque, 1. Tel.: 981740697. Fisterra. A Coruña.

D´BERTO. Teniente Domínguez, 84. Tel.: 986 733 074 O Grove.  Pontevedra.

EL CLAUSTRO. Hotel AC Palacio Santa Paula. Gran Vía de Colón, 31. Tel.: 958 805740. Granada

PESCADERIAS CORUÑESAS. Juan Montalvo, 14. Tel.:915 331 576. Madrid

LA DORADA. Orense, 64. Tel.: 915 702 004. Madrid.

LA LONJA. Vía dos Castillas, 9. Tel.: 913512 211. Pozuelo de Alarcón. Madrid

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11/12/2014