HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
What are you cooking today? Tell us about it

branzino vs sea bass

scunge Feb 25, 2007 07:01 PM

any significant differance other than price?

  1. b
    butterfly Feb 27, 2007 03:09 AM

    The latin name for this fish is Dicentrarchus Labrax. Here in Spain it is called lubina. Where I lived in France it was called loup (but not loup de mer or loup de l'Atlantique--that's a completely different, inferior fish, anarhichas lupus).

    1. b
      butterfly Feb 26, 2007 01:29 PM

      Yes, the term "sea bass" means nothing--as do most American English general fish terms (catfish, grouper, sea bream, etc.). Learn the latin names of the fish that you like and find a really good fish monger who can sell you these fish and tell you exactly where and how they were caught. The problem is that most fish in the US are sold precleaned and fileted, so it is very difficult to identify what you are getting and there are few (or no?) laws on labeling to protect the consumer.

      1 Reply
      1. re: butterfly
        moto Feb 27, 2007 12:31 AM

        hello, the branzino I've spotted at the fishmongers is farmed and imported from western Europe, sold as whole fish and therefore recognizable as the same fish I had served whole in Liguria. I've seen it listed on menus also served whole so I assume their sources to be similar, mostly Italian or Greek establishments I think, but have not tried either the fishmonger's or the restaurants', trying to stick with local and sustainable stuff.

      2. Robert Lauriston Feb 26, 2007 12:41 PM

        Branzino / bar / loup de mer / European sea bass is a different species from the North American black sea bass. However:

        "The terms 'bass,' 'sea bass' and 'seabass' are commonly applied to a range of different fish species [Glossary] besides black sea bass, including toothfish, croaker and rockfish. Shoppers beware!"


        I've heard there's some real branzino around, but the term's probably being abused just like "sea bass."

        1. c
          cookinuptop Feb 26, 2007 11:59 AM

          Chilean Sea Bass is not a sea bass at all. RGR gave its real name. Are you talking about real sea bass?

          1. c
            Claudette Feb 26, 2007 11:56 AM

            They also have totally different textures and flavors. The branzinos I've had were thin, flaky, and relatively flavorless (which my husband prefers); sea bass is thicker, moister, and sweeter.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Claudette
              hotoynoodle Feb 26, 2007 11:59 AM

              properly cooked fresh branzino has a buttery flavor with a silky texture.

            2. r
              RGR Feb 26, 2007 11:52 AM

              Branzino is the Italian name for Mediterranean sea bass. In French, it's loup de mer.

              There is an unrelated species which has been dubbed Chilean sea bass, but whose true name is the Patagonian toothfish.

              Show Hidden Posts