Friday, August 19, 2016

Pageot or Pagre, the fish. Sea Bream on French Menus.

Behind the French Menu
Bryan G. Newman

Pandora Bream
Photograph courtesy of
The sea bream family is very large and certainly one or more of the popular members from the Mediterranean or Arlantic will be on most French fish restaurant menus.  Pageot or Pagel  is the Common Pandora, Pandora Bream, Becker or King of the Breams. The other bream family member often seen on restaurant menus is the Pageot Rose or Dorade Rose, the Common Sea Bream, Black Spotted Sea Bream or Red Bream.  Another preferred member of the sea bream family is the Daurade or Daurade Royale, the Gilthead or Gilthead Sea Bream and it has its own post.

The Pageot, Pagel, Pageot Commune
Common Pandora. Pandora Bream, Becker, King of the Breams.
The Pandora bream is a tasty and a much-appreciated member of the sea bream family. Caught wild in the fish may be up to 2 kilos (4.4 lbs) and nearly all Pandora breams on French menus come from the Mediterranean, but smaller fish may come from fish farms.

The Pandora Bream on French Menus:
Filet de Pageot Rôti au Romarin – Filet of Pandora bream
roasted with rosemary
Friture de Petits Pageots (selon saison) – A fry-up of baby Pandora bream (depending on the season). A friture indicates tiny fish that may be eaten from head to tail.
Filets de Pageot de Méditerranée à la Planxa, Sauce au Banyuls et Mousseline d'Amandes Filets of Pandora bream from the Mediterranean cooked on the Planxa, served with a sauce made with the sweet Banyuls wine and an almond moose. The wine comes from  Banyuls sur Mer on the Mediterranean coast in Languedoc- Roussillon.

Photograph courtesy of Inspirational Food

Pageot Grillé au Fenouil –  Pandora Sea Bream grilled with fennel.

Pavé de Pageot Sauvage, Vierge de Légumes et Riz Vénéré – Large cut of wild Pandora bream served with raw vegetables and the black Venere rice from the Po Valley in Italy.
Salade Variée + Filet De Pageot à la Sauce au Bisque de Homard + Garniture – A mixed salad accompanying a fried filet of Pandora bream served with a  sauce made from a lobster bisque and accompanied by vegetables.

The Pandora bream in the languages of France’s neighbors:
(Catalan - pagell), (Dutch - zeebrasem), (German - rotbrasse), (Italian - pagello fragolino), (Spanish  -  pajel).

Street name on Fish Island in Tower Hamlets, London E3.

Pageot Rose, Dorade Rose
Common Sea Bream, Black Spotted Sea Bream, Red Bream on French menus:

This fish is a relatively bony fish, but it is delicious. Some consider this fish to be the best of the bream family, and it is one of the larger members.  Like most bream, it will be on the menu grilled, pan-fried, but with the larger fish baked and served as filets the bones present no problem.

Aiguillettes de Dorade Rose Sauvage, Crème de Ciboulette – Slices of wild black spotted sea bream served with a cream of chive sauce. The indication of a wild fish here is to make sure the diner realizes that this is not a farmed fish, and he or she should expect a better tasting fish that will cost more. Fish are very much what they eat and fish caught in the wild have a much larger choice.

Dorade Rose Entière Farcie au Gingembre et Crevettes Roses – A whole black spotted sea bream stuffed with ginger and pink shrimps.

Dorade Rose, Ecrasé De Pommes De Terre, Ciboulette, Black spotted sea bream, mashed potatoes, and chives.
                      Pageot Rose, Dorade Rose

Le Pageot Rose Rôti au Citron et au Thym – Black spotted sea bream roasted with lemon and thyme.

Nems de Crevettes et Dorade Rose Sauce Aigre Douce, Cœur de Laitue, Menthe Fraîche – Spring rolls with shrimps and black spotted sea bream served with a sweet and sour sauce, lettuce heart and fresh mint.

Pageot Rose,  Asperges Vertes et Sauvages -  Black spotted sea bream served with green and wild asparagus.

Tartare de Dorade Rose, Tourteau et Avocat A Tartar of black spotted sea bream, made with the meat of the brown edible crab and served with avocado.
The black spotted sea bream in the languages of France’s neighbors.
 (Catalan - besuc de la piga), (Dutch - zeebrasem), (German – graubarsch, meerbrasse, seekarpfen), (Italian – rovello, pagro), (Spanish- barazo, goraz and vorazo),
Other members of the Sea Bream family that may be on the menu. On the menu, they will be cooked like the other bream, but both of the fishnoted below are smaller and usually caught when under one kilo (2.2lbs).

Pageot Acarne, Pageot Blanc or Acarne– Axillary sea bream, auxiliary sea bream
(Catalan - besuc blanc ), (Dutch - spaanse zeebrasem ), (German – achselfleckbrasse ), (Italian – pagello, pagello bastardo), (Spanish - aligote, besugo, pancho picudo),

Griset, Brême de Mer. - Black Bream. Black Sea Bream.
(Catalan – càntera), (Dutch - zeekarper), (German - streifenbrasse ), (Italian - tanuta), (Spanish Choupa )

A good catch.
With thanks to for help in translations: courtesy of Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2015. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication., version (10/2015).

Connected Posts:
Bryan G. Newman
Behind the French Menu
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