Spain is bathed by water on three sides: the Bay of Biscay, the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Extremely rich in marine fauna, they provide us with exceptional variety of high quality white and blue fish. In fact, it can be said that there is no other country that offers a wider variety of fish than ours.
As for white fish, hake and whiting are the most popular. In the case of the former, three key concepts must arise to talk about quality: spike, Atlantic Ocean and the Bay of Biscay, although hake caught in the Mediterranean should not be considered inferior.
Furthermore, the gilthead and the sea bass are much appreciated, particularly if they are cooked in salt or open. Other white fish include John Dory, monkfish, pout, sole, ling, fresh cod, scorpion fish, rock fish, conger, catfish, turbot or southern flounder.
As for blue fish, sea bream, tuna, horse mackerel, anchovy, bream and salmon appear on the list of the most distinguished. When it comes to their preparation, each fish has its traditional way of cooking. For example: sardines from any of the three seas are delicious grilled, cooked on a skewer or in pickling brine.
Oily mackerel come from the Atlantic waters of the province of Huelva and the Mediterranean, although they can only be found in the summer season. Red mullet which is fished in the Mediterranean is another jewel of our waters.
Tuna deserves a separate comment. It is often referred to as the “pig of the sea” because its degree of use is far superior to that of other fish. As is usually said of the pig, almost all of the fish is taken advantage of.
This is just a quick approximation of the diversity of the Spanish fish market, because each coastal region has its characteristic species, some of which are known by their local names. In this respect, the archipelagos offer a huge and diverse aquarium, which at times is not valued sufficiently. The “raor” from the Balearic Islands or the “vieja” from the Canary Islands are just two examples of this splendour.
Our rivers can also be seen as a feast of diversity. Freshwater salmon from Asturias is excellent but scarce and trout and perch can also be caught if the rivers are fast flowing with cold water.