Friday, June 15, 2012

Barbue - Brill, the Fish. Barbue on French Menus. Searching for the Most Popular Fish in France.

Behind the French Menu
Bryan G. Newman

Barbue – Brill.
Photo courtesy of Fish in my life.
Brill on your menu.

Among the ten most popular fish in France. A wonderful, well textured fish, with firm white meat. Your menu may offer brill grilled or sautéed, but, just as often it will be poached or baked, and served with a sauce. The most famous brill recipe, still popular today, was created over 150 years ago; that recipe is Filets de Barbue Duglére, brill in the manner of Duglére. In France's culinary history of Haute Cuisine Adolphe Duglére is one of its most creative chefs.
Barbue Pochée au Cidre – Brill poached in cider.      
Filets de Barbue Duglére - Filets of brill in the manner of the chef Duglére. Here the fish is poached in the oven in a white wine and served with a white sauce based on tomatoes and crème fraîche. This dish was created while Dugléré was the executive chef, at the legendary Café Anglais.
Tronçon de Barbue à la Crème de Truffes d'Été  - A large cut of brill served with a cream sauce flavored with the lightly scented summer truffle.

Filet of Brill with mushrooms and shrimp.
Photograph courtesy of  MonkeyBusiness/
Filet de Barbue, Noix de Saint-Jacques au Boudin Noir - Filet of brillet prepared with the meat of scallops and slices of black pudding sausage.    

Brill with Chinese bok choy cabbage and herb oil.
Photograph courtesy of Inspirational Food.
Many recipes originally created for turbot are also offered for brill. Brill may be smaller than turbot but they are related large flat fish. When cooked both have a very a similar taste and texture, and the only way, for a non-professional, like me, to clearly identify brill from turbot is when they are uncooked and unskinned at the fish-monger’s. The absence of the protruding skin bubbles and scales, the skin markings that clearly mark a turbot, are a clear give away. They clearly show the difference between a turbot and a brill.  Many turbot will be over 70 cms across though farmed turbot are much smaller. Wild brill are smaller, than turbot and sometimes reach 40 or 50 cms, and then that's a large brill.  
Brill in the languages of France’s neighbours:
(Catalan - Rèmol), (German – glattbutt), (Italian - rombo liscio), (Spanish -– corujo,).
Brill in other languages:
(Chinese (Mandarin) –),  (Danish- slethvarre), (Dutch – griet), (Greek – Ρομβοπισί, romvopisi), (Hebrew – putit, פוטית).. (Portuguese -  rodovalho ), (Rumanian - calcan mic), (Russian – Romb), (Ukrainian - gladkii kalkan), (Turkish - Çivisizkalkan balığı). With thanks for assistance in these langauges to: Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2014. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication., version (11/2014).

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Bryan G. Newman

Behind the French Menu
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