Sole / Common Sole
[Common Sole, Dover Sole Solea solea]
"Sole" without a qualifier means Common Sole, a fish also known as "Dover Sole" that's very popular in Europe. Unfortunately there's another by that name - see Dover Sole for an explanation of the confusion and subterfuge created by that name. This fish is native to the North Atlantic from Norway to the northwest coast of Africa, and is most numerous around the British Isles, the north coast of Germany and the coast of France. To a lesser extent it inhabits the Mediterranean and parts of the Black Sea. This fish can grow to 27 inches and 6.6 pounds but is more commonly about 12 inches.
In North America a number of flounders are called "Sole" to make them seem more sophisticated and European. While there are other true soles, Common Sole is most common and preferred when available. The Marine Stewardship Council has certified the Hastings Fleet Dover Sole fishery as sustainable, but that may not apply to other fisheries. This fish is now also being farmed. As a Pacific Coast substitute use Petrale Sole (actually a flounder). Photo by Hans Hillewaert distributed under license Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0.
More on Varieties of Fish (very large
This fish is mild and holds together well for any method of cooking. It is highly thought of by chefs in Europe.
Buying: I'm sure some of the gourmet emporiums around here have this fish as frozen fillets - but I don't shop at places like that.
Cooking: Most methods of cooking will work fine with this fish.
sf_solez 100517 - www.clovegarden.com
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