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Saturday, October 8, 2016

Aiguille, Aiguillette or Orphie – The Garpike, Garfish or Needlefish on French Menus.

Behind the French Menu
Bryan G. Newman

The garfish, garpike or needlefish.
The garfish or garpike on  a French menu will come from the European family of needlefish caught in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.  These relatively long, thin, seafish, with their spiky beaks may be offered marinated in wine or smoked as an entrée, the French starter. They are a little fatty, but French chefs know that they are also very tasty and have a firm texture; a good marinade or grilling will remove most of the fat.
When seen in the market  a large garfish may reach  60 or 70 cm (28") though most are around  40 cm (16") long.
Garfish or garpike on the menu:
Filets d'Orphies au Curcuma – Filets of garpike flavored with tumeric.
Orphie Marinée Ail et Persil Grillée à la Plancha –  Garpike marinated in garlic and  parsley and grilled on the plancha.

Marinated garfish.
Tartare de Aiguille  - Garpike Tatar.

A garfish caught
The European garfish or garpike’s size may amuse an American visitor as there is a  much longer North American fish called a gar or garfish. The  North American fish come from a completely different family of, mostly, freshwater fish that are much longer and heavier.  The Spanish and Italians, like the French all have at least one name that translates as the needlefish in English. gives the origin of the English name  to gar, the Middle English word for a spear, a gar.

A gull biting off more than it can chew.
(Catalan - agulla), (Dutch - geep), (German – hornhecht), (Italian - aguglia, aguin, agogliuin),  (Spanish - aguja, guya, agulla).
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Bryan G. Newman
Copyright 2010, 2016.
For information on the unpublished book behind this blog contact Bryan Newman

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