Friday, August 3, 2012

Dorade or Dorade Royale. Gilthead or Gilthead Sea Bream. Dorade, Daurade or Dorade Royale on French Menus.

Behind the French Menu
Bryan G. Newman
  Gilthead seabream in the wild.
Photograph courtesy of ahisgett
Gilthead are a firm, tasty fish with a silver colored skin; they will be on a French menus sautéed, grilled or baked.  The names dorade or daurade are used interchangeably. Larger fish, certainly all those over one kilo, are caught in the Mediterranean while most of the smaller fish will have come from sea-water fish-farms in France or overseas.  If it is my choice I will choose a filet from a larger fish as I prefer fish caught as sea; in the sea all fish have a wider choice of food, and with fish you very much are what you eat. Despite that caveat, the smaller farmed-fish are tasty fish, and they will be on more menus.

Fresh gilthead on ice
Photograph courtesy of Astacus
When ordering gilthead, or for that matter any other fish on French menus, read the translations from the French carefully.   Do not confuse the dorade or daurade royale, the gilthead seabream, with the daurade rose, the bluespotted seabream. The bluespotted seabream is a fine fish; however, its cousin the gilthead is the juicier choice.

Grilled Gilthead.
Photograph courtesy of Oli Matthews
Dos de Filet de Daurade Royale de Ligne Poêlé à l'Huile d'Olive  –  A thick cut from a large gilthead caught with rod and line lightly fried in olive oil. When a French menu notes caught with a rod and line that indicate that the fish was caught at sea and did not come from a sea farm. Whether it was caught in a net or with a rod and line, is another story. Dos de filet, indicates a thick cut and that cannot come from a small farm-raised fish. On this menu listing the oil used for frying is noted; French diners know the benefits of olive oil and chefs will make sure that is on the menu, especially of it is a French olive oil.
Filet de Daurade Royale Grillé au Safran - Grilled filet of gilthead flavored with saffron, the herb. Saffron is the most expensive herb in the world and despite it requiring hand harvesting it is still grown in France; however, here as the origin of the saffron is not noted  this may well be an import.

The preparation.
Gilthead, green asparagus and  tomatoes.
Photograph courtesy of  dirk1812

Dorade Royale Enrobée d'une Bisque d'Oursin Gilthead served covered by a rich bisque made from sea urchin roe.  Bisques are traditionally made from seafood, and the only edible part of a sea urchin is its roe. For more on bisques see the post: Seafood Bisques..

Daurade au Citron – Gilthead lightly grilled, and flavored only with lemon
Photograph courtesy of of @rgs
La Dorade Royale Grillée Pour 2 Personnes - A large gilthead grilled that will be served for a minimum of two diners. When you see a French menu listing like this ask your waiter for more information; a simply grilled gilthead is a great way to enjoy this fish as the fish’s natural taste is preserved. Despite that there may be other options available; a gilthead grilled with France’s much loved herb group, Les Fine Herbes adds a, mild but very enjoyable flavor. 
Dos de Filet de Daurade Royale Poêlé à l'Huile d'Olive, Risotto de Blé Vert au Lait de Soja et Jeunes  Pousses de Roquette au Parmesan -  A  thick filet cut  from a large gilthead, lightly fried in olive oil;  served with a risotto made from green wheat, soya milk and young shoots of rocket and flavored with Parmesan cheese.  Note once again the chef indicates the oil used; even small French restaurants usually include the oil in their menu listing. Blé Vert, green wheat, usually called frik or freekeh,is a basic ingredient in North African cuisine; alongside bulgur wheat it is very much in fashion in France. Green wheat with its different texture and taste creates a new take on risotto; the wheat itself is simply made by toasting and cracking wheat seeds that are still soft.

Gilthead or Gilthead Sea bream, the Daurade or Daurade Royale:  (German – dorade royal, gemeine goldbrasse, goldbrasse), (Italian – orata, aurata,  dorata, oràda), (Spanish – dorada, dourada, chappareta ).

Bryan G. Newman

Behind the French Menu
Copyright 2010, 2012, 2013