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Lumpfish roe: recipes and how to eat them. What is lumpfish and what are the differences with caviar.
The lumpfish it is a widespread fish on both sides of the North Atlantic, in the Baltic Sea and in the North Sea. Unlike other fish, its meat has no commercial value and the only interest in this species is linked to its own eggs. Its scientific name isCyclopterus lumpus.
Lumpfish: fish and fishing
The lumpfish is a saltwater fish belonging to the Cyclopteridae family. It lives mainly on rocky bottoms and can be found at the most varied depths, from a few centimeters to over 300 meters deep. This fish, in fact, perfectly tolerates the cold: it is a northern species, widespread from Northern Norway to the Gulf of Biscay. It is also present in the Baltic Sea.
As stated, the fishing of Cyclopterus lumpus is aimed exclusively at the collection of eggs. The fishing period, therefore, is seasonal and coincides with the laying of the eggs. The females full of eggs come "emptied on board the boats "to recover the big onesgonadscontaining eggs.
The eggs are preserved in brine (they are salted) and colored. Lumpfish roe, in fact, are gray in nature, an unappetizing color, so they are added with a food coloring such as amaranth red or bright black. Thelumpfish roe they cannot be counted among the types of caviar, in fact they are considered a cheaper substitute for caviar. The price of lumpfish roe however, it remains high because in total, world egg production reaches a few thousand tons per year. The main producing countries oflumpfish roe are: Iceland, Denmark and Canada.
Difference between lumpfish roe and caviar
Caviar and lumpfish roe have one thing in common: they are bothfish eggswith a grainy appearance. Lumpfish roe and caviar, however, are two different products. With the termcaviarin fact, they can be marketed exclusivelysturgeon eggs, the manufacturing processes are the same.
Another highly prized food based on fish eggs (tuna, mullet ...) is the bottarga.
As stated, the real color of lumpfish roe is a greyish. Thelumpfish roe that we find on the market are prepared by a salting process and with the addition of authorized food colors such as E123 for amaranth red (often lumpfish roe prepared in this way are incorrectly calledred caviar or orange caviar). In the case of black lumpfish eggs, the dye used is E151, a brilliant black of artificial origin that can cause allergic crises in predisposed subjects.
In both cases these are synthetic dyes used not only for lumpfish roe but also for the sturgeon eggs, so even the most expensive caviar is not immune to the dye!
Lumpfish roe: how to eat them
There are many lumpfish roe recipes, from appetizers to first courses, without forgetting aperitifs such as the classics canapes. How are lumpfish roe eaten? Just take a teaspoon to savor natural ... but not everyone can tolerate the strong flavor offish eggs. So how to eat them? Let's see somelumpfish roe recipe.
Lumpfish egg pasta
The most suitable format for preparing thelumpfish egg pastait's linguina or spaghetti. Here are the ingredients for two people:
- 150 gr of spaghetti
- 1 generous spoonful of lumpfish roe
- 2 tablespoons of dry white wine
- a spoonful of lemon juice
- a white onion
- extra virgin olive oil (the quality of the oil is essential)
- chopped dried chili
- 5 yellow cherry tomatoes
- chopped fresh parsley
This dish is very simple to prepare but you have to pay attention to the quality of the ingredients! A yellow tomato type datterino, is perfect for its sweetness and the consistency of its pulp.
- Chop the onions
- Put the spaghetti water to boil.
- Aside, in a large pan, heat a drizzle of oil.
- Fry onions and tomato.
- When the onions are semi-transparent, add two tablespoons of white wine, let it evaporate and turn off.
- As soon as the water boils, cook the spaghetti.
- Remove the spaghetti from the pasta 2 minutes before the end of cooking.
- Drain the pasta keeping a ladle of water aside (I don't think you will need it but it is needed for emergencies ... if you have let the tomatoes overcook!).
- Finish cooking the spaghetti in the pan with oil, onion and cherry tomatoes.
- Add a generous spoonful oflumpfish roe.
- Add the juice of half a lemon.
- Add the chopped dried chilli and parsley.
- You can serve and enjoy!
Another version oflumpfish egg pastait is prepared with cream. You can follow the same recipe and replace the tomatoes with cream and dried chili with fresh ground pepper. Someone suggests preparingpasta with lumpfish roe and salmonsmoked but the salmon flavor is very strong, the fish roe flavor is strong too, so you can create a contrast that not everyone likes.
Canapes: lumpfish roe
The canapes are prepared with a layer of butter and lumpfish roe. Alternatively you can use mayonnaise or mixed sauces with mustard-stained mayonnaise.