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Saturday, July 1, 2017

Black-Bass, Black-bass à Grande Bouche – Largemouth Bass or Largemouth Black Bass. Largemouth Black Bass on French Menus.

Behind the French menu
Bryan G. Newman
Largemouth black bass.

Largemouth black bass is a North American freshwater fish introduced into European rivers for sports fishermen and women in the late 19th century.  These American imports have established themselves in many streams and rivers in Europe. A French chef who is an active amateur fisherman, on the river where his restaurant is, told me eating largemouth black bass may be considered revenge as they eat young crayfish. Young crayfish, when left alone grow into bigger crayfish, and they have many of their own admirers in the French culinary world. Nevertheless, he considers black bass as a tasty fish, and when offered fish caught by local fishermen and women, he will place them on his menu; any fish, not just bass, that he catches himself are for his friends and family.
Catching black bass.
Largemouth Black Bass on French menus:
Black-Bass à Grande Bouche Poêlé à l'Anis – Largemouth bass fried with aniseed. (See the appendix Herbs and Spices, Mushrooms and Truffles: Anis).
 Lightly fried black bass in a fennel-accented sauce.
Black-Bass à Grande Bouche Vapeur, Poireaux, Champignons de Paris et une Crème Légère au Citron - Steamed largemouth bass prepared with leeks and button mushrooms and served with a light and creamy lemon accented sauce.
Black-Bass à Grande Bouche Fumée et sa Marinade Citron –Largemouth bass smoked and served in a lemon marinade.
Carpaccio de Black Bass – A Carpaccio of largemouth bass.
Black-Bass à la Fondue d'Échalotes – Black bass served on a bed of shallots.
A river in Maine.
Maine has over 1,000 lakes and an untold number of rivers and streams.
French and visiting freshwater sportsmen and women along with commercial fishermen and women catch these fish using a rod and line; they may reach 2 kilos or more.  The professionals mostly sell their catches directly to restaurants and in farmer’s markets near to where the fish are caught. Unfortunately, the catches are rarely large enough or valuable enough to reach the big cities. Nevertheless,  if you are traveling in France, they will be on many riverside and lakeside menus. The larger fish will usually be served as grilled filets or fried filets, and they are a tasty fish.
My family and I caught the North American family members of these fish. We were on vacation in the lakes and rivers in Northern Maine, and it was, unfortunately, not the salmon season. One of our sons caught a young salmon but it was below the legal catch size, and it was returned to the lake. We stayed at a fishing lodge and took a fishing guide, who promised us good fishing and good eating with large mouthed bass. 
Largemouth black bass.
Largemouth black bass is a tasty fish.  The fish we caught were at most 400 grams (14 ounces, just under 1 lb) each. The guide knew all the best places for largemouth black bass, and we just reeled them in. When we had caught enough for lunch, we sat on the bank of the lake, fried them in olive oil and a few herbs. Together with the additions provided by the fishing lodge where we stayed along with a cold bottle of white wine. the fish made a magnificent lunch.  The next day we repeated our success on the St John River; the St John River is part of the USA State of Maine's border with Canada.  Some of the fish we caught that day may have been Canadian, but they tasted the same as the American fish! Maine has over 1,000 lakes and an untold number of rivers and streams. In two days we only saw two other people.
Largemouth Black Bass in the languages of France's neighbors:
(Catalan - perca americana), (Dutch -forelbaars, zwarte baars), (German - Amerikanischer schwarzbarsch, forellenbarsch), (Italian -persico trota), (Spanish - perca Americana,),
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Bryan G.Newman

Behind the French Menu

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