I do not know if in your area it is common for there to be a certain confusion between sole and rooster. But I have found myself in the region where I live, which is inland, that the same fishmonger tells you that it has some very good sole when what he is referring to is another family of flat fish, within which we find the rooster . And it is not that this is a culinary detriment variety, I don’t want to say that at all, but the correct thing is call each fish by name.
So that there are no more doubts and you can take home what you really wanted to buy, nothing better than knowing the differences between one species and another to know which one you are facing. Both fish are of the same order, pleuronectiform or flat fish. Its flat shape determines a face with eyes and a blind one on which they rest on the seabed, but we have families that look to the right and families that look to the left.
The rooster is a fish of the family Scophtalmidae. It inhabits deep waters up to four hundred meters. Its main characteristics and that differentiate it from other species are:
- Fine and translucent body.
- Has the eyes on the left side from the body and separated by a bony prominence. The upper eye is slightly behind the lower eye and very close together.
- On its blind side it has scales and is cream-colored, the upper part being earth brown color. If it is the spotted rooster, frequent in the markets, you have to observe four black dots on the final part of its body.
- Receives different names according to the regions where we are. In the Balearic Islands and Catalonia it is called bruixa; in Cantabria, ojito; in Galicia, it is a spotted rapant or meiga and in the Basque Country, itxas oillarra.
- Their fishing season is the months of March and April Mainly, although they are usually seen all year round in the markets.
But if what you want to buy is sole, pay attention to the differentiating characteristics with its relative the rooster.
It is also a white fish and flat in shape. It is considered the king of flat fish for its culinary characteristics, although it is in danger of extinction if its situation does not improve.
- Its size ranges from twenty-five to fifty centimeters in length and its body is more oval than that of the rooster, presenting tiny scales.
- The color in its upper part is Greenish brown and the cream colored blind part.
The mouth is oblique and nail-shaped. It also has a lateral line along the body straight and on both sides.
- One of the most notable differences with the rooster is that the sole belongs to the family of flatfish that they look to the right.
- It also has a black spot but in this case at the end of the pectoral fin, the one closest to the head, very characteristic and much clearer in the Senegalese sole.
- His capture time is in the months of February, March, and April. Such is its importance that the famous “Gran Sol” fishing ground does not receive this name in honor of the star king but for this fish, since the original name Gran Sole, great sole, comes from the Latin name Solea Solea that has been assigned to this fish.
I hope that with these differentiating characteristics, the next time you go to the fishmonger you will be very clear what is one species or another and you take home exactly what you were thinking of buying.
Directly to the Palate | Knowing fish I: Sea bream and bream
Directly to the Palate | Cooking times of the main seafood