Distinguish wild gilt-head sea bream from farmed

Choosing between wild and farmed fish is often a dilemma for consumers, due mainly to the fact that wild-captured fish can cost twice as much as their farmed counterparts.

But when it comes to taste? Can you distinguish wild fish from fish farmed fish once they are on the plate? Some people say that fish coming from aquaculture taste more fatty, because they move less and eat more regularly than what they would do in the wild. Others that wild fish usually have more diverse and distinct flavors, depending on the compounds they absorb from the environment, which give them a distinct "sea" aroma in taste.

One of the major fishing centers of Greece is Kavala (my husbands birthplace - the most developed urban center of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace). The city is one of the largest fish markets in the Mediterranean, where goods are traded on domestic and international markets. So when we visit Kavala

we love eating fresh fish caught in the open sea.

We were on a visit some time a go, and bought from our Kavala fisherman Mr. Sotiris fresh gilt-head sea breams. Sea breams are very popular in the Mediterranean region and are cultured extensively in fish farms too. So I asked Mr. Sotiris, how can a customer tell if a sea bream is wild or raised in a fish farm? And here is the secret:

Look at the photo. There is an orange-red mark on the sea breams head. That’s the sign that this gilt-head sea bream is caught in the open sea.

#giltheadbream #fish