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Fish #147 Gilt-head Bream Sparus aurata ~ Garth Bayley
Pen and ink on 200g cold pressed paper 32 x 24 cm
A fish of the bream family Sparidae found in the Mediterranean Sea and the eastern coastal regions of the North Atlantic Ocean. It commonly reaches about 35 centimetres (1.15 ft) in length, but may reach 70 cm (2.3 ft) and weigh up to about 7.36 kilograms (16.2 lb). The gilt-head bream is generally considered the best-tasting of the breams. It is the single species of the genus Sparus - the Latin name for this fish - which has given the whole family of Sparidae its name. Its specific name, aurata, derives from the gold bar marking between its eyes.
I was a chef for many years so I have included a recipe for you.
Baked Gilthead Sea Bream
|Fresh Sea Bream||x1, 1-1½ lb|
|Extra virgin oil||6 tablespoons|
|Fresh Rosemary||4 sprigs|
|Garlic||2x cloves (chopped)|
|Fleur de Del||¾ tablespoon (French coarse sea salt)|
|Fresh grounded pepper||½ teaspoon|
|Fresh lemon slices||x4|
Clean the fish and dry it with a paper towel. To help the fish bone removal once cooked, make a slash along the fish and another cut along the backbone on both sides and at the end of the tail. Use a small bowl to mix salt, pepper, one sprig of chopped rosemary, garlic and shallot with olive oil. Rub the fish with the marinade and make sure it goes inside the slit along the backbone. Spread one teaspoon of mixture inside the fish cavity; place two half slices of lemon and one sprig of rosemary inside the cavity as well. Marinade the fish for 30 minutes. Place a piece of baking paper on a baking dish, drizzle the baking dish with olive oil. Transfer the fish to the tray. Make sure to spoon all the marinade on top of the fish for extra flavour. Put two sprigs of Rosemary on top the fish. Pre-heat the oven to 425F and baked the fish for 15 minutes. Once cooked, remove the baking dish from oven; let it rest for five minutes before transferring the fish to a large serving dish, drizzle with olive oil and serve.
Fish #147 Gilt-head Bream Sparus aurata ~ David Green
Acrylic 15 x 21 cm
The Gilt-head Bream is found mainly in the Mediterranean sea and also round the eastern coasts of the North Atlantic ocean. It is normally found at depths up to 30m. but is known to reach 150m. It commonly measures 35cm. in length but may reach twice this size and weigh up to 7.3kg.
Its diet consists of mainly shellfish with some plant material and it is usually found on sandy bottoms. The most common predator of the fish, apart from parasites, is a seabird, the Great Cormorant.
Commercial status - The fish is produced in large numbers by aquaculture in the Mediterranean, but the rapid growth cage-reared fish has raised concern about the impact of escaped fish on the genetic diversity of natural populations.
Conservation status:- Protected status in parts of Spain and Turkey, and shore and boat fishing is restricted in the UK
The reason I picked this particular fish to paint is that I have seen it many times on the fishmongers slab and thought how striking it was.
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