The amberjack: a precious blue fish

The amberjack is characterized by its delicate taste, which sets it apart from the other fish that belong to the same category, namely the bluefish. The compact and tasty meat, rosy in colour and with a flavour similar to that of tuna, makes it excellent to eat both raw and cooked. The important thing is not to cook it too much, to avoid it becoming tough. Although it is a very good fish with excellent nutritional properties, it is not very common.

The amberjack is a migrating fish that prefers deep waters, but in the spring and summer seasons, it gets closer to the coast. It is mainly fished commercially and is present in the Pacific Ocean, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.

 

Nutritional characteristics

What makes this fish so valuable? Besides having a pleasant taste and a low calorie count, as already mentioned, the amberjack has the advantage of having remarkable nutritional properties. And these are what make the difference!

The meat is rich in Omega-3, whose importance for cardiovascular health is well known, and in proteins with a high biological value. There is also a high intake of valuable minerals such as phosphorus, which is useful for the absorption of calcium and memory, and A and B vitamins. All these features make it an ideal food for young and old.

The amberjack on the dinner table

To make the most of the nutritional properties of this lean fish with its pleasant taste, it would be best to eat it raw in the form of carpaccio or tartare. At Il Piccolo Mondo restaurant you can enjoy a delicious Carpaccio of amberjack marinated in raspberry vinegar, so you can satisfy your appetite with the confidence that what you are eating is not only good but also healthy! However, the amberjack is also very good cooked, as long as the cooking method is not too aggressive. If cooked in a sensible way, savouring the amberjack will give you the sensation that it will melt in your mouth.

In the cooked version, this fish can be used to prepare delicate first courses, combined with vegetables such as cherry tomatoes and zucchini. There are different ways to prepare tasty main courses. Baked, placing the fish on a bed of cut potatoes under oil and seasoned with Pachino tomatoes, extravirgin olive oil, garlic, salt, parsley, chilli pepper and capers. In a pan with “acqua pazza”: fry the garlic with extravirgin olive oil, add the cherry tomatoes cut into pieces and deglaze with white wine after they have softened, all on a high heat. After a few minutes lower the heat, add salt and amberjack and, after covering it with a lid, continue cooking for 10/15 minutes. The fresh and chopped parsley will be put only when the cooking is finished. It is also excellent in a salt crust or grilled. There are many recipes for preparing amberjack and these are just a few examples. There is something for everyone!

Il Piccolo Mondo restaurant gives you the chance to taste this delicious fish both raw and cooked. The choice is yours! For reservations please contact us at 06 42016034.

The fish products: characteristics and properties

The fish products, as well as being delicious, are valuable allies for our body. Rich in proteins, vitamins and mineral salts, they are essential in the diet  (eating fish 3 times a week is recommended). Quality and freshness, of course, are essential characteristics.

 

Fish products: nutritional properties

Fishery products are rich in proteins of high biological value (about 15-20%), which are more digestible than the proteins present in mammalian meat. They contain mineral salts such as calcium, iron, phosphorus and iodine. They are also a source of vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant, B vitamins and vitamin D, essential for bone health. Blue fish and salmon, in particular, are rich in omega 3, polyunsaturated fats that keep cholesterol levels low and prevent the onset of cardiovascular disease.

The percentage of fat varies from species to species, depending on age and biological cycle. Skimmed fish products include mussels, shrimps, squids, anchovies, lobsters, cod, sole, sea bass, clams, octopus and cuttlefish.

 

Classification of fishery products

Fish products are divided into:

  • fish, vertebrates, which according to the skeleton are divided into bony fish (e.g. sea bream, ombrina, bass) and cartilaginous (e.g. race);
  • crustaceans, with an external skeleton called carapace (e.g. shrimps, lobsters and prawns);
  • molluscs, invertebrates, whose shell may be single and external (e.g. sea snail), external bivalve (e.g. mussels and clams) or internal, as in the case of cuttlefish, octopus and squids.

 

How to recognize fresh fish

To check if the product is fresh, it is necessary to evaluate some characteristics:

the fish’s eye must be vivid and protruding, not hollow and opaque;
the product must have a delicate, marine odour, not acrid and pungent;
the skin must be bright and iridescent;
the meat must be elastic and firm.

At Il Piccolo Mondo restaurant you will find fresh fish products every day, coming from auctions and daily deliveries. The summer menu offers delicious appetizers from the kitchen, raw seafood, seasonal first courses, tasty main courses, fish of the day in different preparations, in addition to the valuable crustaceans of our aquarium. Come and visit us in via Aurora 39, a few steps from via Veneto. You will find the sea in the heart of Rome!

For reservations, please contact us at + 39 06 42016034.

Common lobster: please don’t call it a red lobster!

Also known as “sea wolf” or “sea elephant”, the common lobster is a large crustacean with firm flesh and intense flavor. It lives in the rocky depths of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, at a depth ranging between 15 and 200 meters. In general, the average length of a specimen is around 30/40 cm, but in some cases it can exceed 60 cm. Although the common lobster is often assimilated to the red lobster because of its shape and size, the common lobster belongs to a different species and has specific characteristics.

The difference between common lobster and red lobster


The common lobster, whose scientific name is homarus, is part of the family of nephropods. Unlike the red lobster, it has a smooth carapace and two large front claws, which it uses to attack its prey and defend itself from predators. The two crustaceans also differ in taste, which in the case of the common lobster is less sweet and more pronounced. This makes it the ideal ingredient for refined first courses, such as risotto or exquisite lobster linguini.

What is the Blue Lobster?


The homarus gammarus, also known as “blue lobster”, is the least common and most prized variety. It differs from the American homarus by the bluish reflections of its armour, as well as by its extremely tender and tasty flesh. In nature, there are some lobster specimens which have a real intense blue pigmentation, fruit of a genetic defect, but these are very rare cases (about one specimen every two million). Blue lobster terminology, therefore, refers to European lobster, which is more difficult to find on the market and, consequently, considered more valuable than American lobster.

At the restaurant “Il Piccolo Mondo” you can find seasonal dishes and fresh seafood specialities every day. If you want to taste delicious linguine with blue lobster or an excellent lobster, come and visit us in via Aurora 39, a few steps from via Veneto. You will not regret it!
For reservations, please contact us on 06 42016034.