[Carp Bream, Bronze Bream, Fresh Water Bream, Caspian Bream; Abramis brama]
The Common Bream is a highly commercial fish from Central Europe to Central Asia, and was once an important food for the poor in Britain. The flesh has been described as "bony, insipid and soft". It can grow to 32 inches and 13 pounds but is more typically 12 to 20 inches and 4 to 9 pounds. Juveniles are often mistaken for Silver Bream, but the scales of this fish are smaller. Count from the leading edge of the dorsal fin down to the lateral line 13 or more scale rows (11 max for the Silver Bream). This fish is not found in North America, but is imported salted and dried. IUCN listed as LC (Least Concern). Photo by contributed to the public domain.
More on the Carp Family.
Buying: This fish can be found in markets serving a Baltic, Russian or Central European community, but is not as common as Vobla. The photo specimen, from Lithuania, was purchased from a multi-ethnic market in Los Angeles, for 2014 US $11.49 per pound. They were sold in packages of two or three, store marked as "Vobla" but package marked as "Bream dry, Abramis brama" and "Caspian Bream" (though I doubt a fish from Lithuania was actually caught in the Caspian Sea). The photo specimen was 14-1/2 inches long and weighed 6-1/4 ounces.
Eating: This dried fish is heavily salted, flat, thin,
completely covered with large hard scales, full of bones and
stiff as a board - so how do you eat this thing? Do you really want
to eat this thing? Well, you eat it pretty much the same way as you
eat a Vobla, but I consider this fish
even more challenging because it's bigger and tougher.
Please note, this is not something you want to do when you are in a
hurry, or have plans to go somewhere. Also, it is not a fish for ladies
with delicate fingernails, you need to claw this thing apart.