Friday, June 22, 2012

Saint-Pierre, that unique fish. John Dory in French Cuisine. Searching for the Most Popular Fish in France..

In France this tasty fish will be rated, probably, number three out of the top ten.
Behind the French Menu
Bryan Newman






Saint-Pierre, John Dory; the fish.  The mark on the side was thought to have been made by St Peter's as a thumb print seems visible.


   Saint-Pierre, San-Pierre, Jean Doré, Pèis de Noste Segne – John Dory, Gallocristo, Doree,  Atlantic John Dory, St Peter's fish.  Saint Pierre is a firm, tasty, white-fleshed sea fish, and one of the most popular fish in French restaurants.


  There many recipes where this popular fish is offered smoked, sautéd, grilled, poached and/or baked;  the fish will also be served with a variety of sauces. These fish, caught at sea, not grown in fish-farms can be quite large, often over three kilos; they are usually on French menus as filets.


    The English name John Dory comes from the French Jaune Dore, meaning golden yellow, and that is this fish's color when freshly caught. The French names Saint-Pierre or San-Pierre refers to the mark on the side of the fish that looks like a thumb print. With that mark  some European traditions taught that this is the thumb print  of St Peter.  St. Peter was a fisherman  before becoming the leader of Christ’s Apostles. Unfortunately, for this particular tradition’s creator the real St Peter, the fisherman, was a fresh water-fisherman and the John Dory is a salt-water fish. St. Peter never fished in the Mediterranean or Atlantic.  Problems with historical traditions do not, however, interfere with the excellent taste of the  fish, the John Dory, under any of its many names.


The recipes for Saint Pierre St Peter's fish on French menus.


Saint Pierre aux Ormeaux, Beurre d'Algues de Chez Bordier – John Dory prepared together with the meat of the abalone, the sea snail, and a special butter made with the addition of a  local seaweed. The French have been using the treasures of the sea, including seaweed, algue, for as long as the Japanese.


Aiguillette de Sainte Pierre Poêlée, Réduction au Vin d'Irancy Monté au Beurre – Filets of John Dory lightly fried in a butter sauce flavored with sauce flavored with the red wine from Irancy, Burgundy. The red and rose wine vineyards of Irancy AOC  are about 15 kms from even more famous white wines that come from the vineyards around the town of Chablis.  Both wines come from the département of Yonne in Burgundy.


    St Peter was a fisherman who worked in the freshwater lake,  the Sea of Galilee;  called the Lake Kinneret, in Israel. The fish St Peter would have caught 2,000 years ago, was a freshwater fish and and that same fish is still caught wild in the Sea of Galilee and it correctly called the Mango Tilapia.   What would have surprised St Peter today is the number of  fresh-water fish farms in Israel, and in another fifty  countries around the world.

Photograph Courtesy of James L. Emery.
St Peter’s Fish, the Mango Tilapia; here it is photographed, ready to eat with French fries. The photograph was taken at a restaurant on the banks of the Sea of Galilee, Lake Kinneret, Israel.


    Enjoy Saint-Pierre, John Dory, in France, and in other European countries. Enjoy the same fish by the name John Dory in North America and the UK.  When visiting Israel enjoy the original, fresh-water, St Peter's fish, the Mango Tilapia.


   The John Dory in Europe. (German  -peterfisch, heringkonig, Sankt Petersfisch, Europäischer, heringskönig).  (Italian –pesce San Pietro, pesce gallo,  Sanpietro, pesce di Cristo), (Spanish – pez de San martin, gall, gall de la mar, gall de San Pedro, gallo, pez de San Pedro).