Are flatfish actually flat?

by | Mar 10, 2023 | Blog, Cooking Tips and Tricks | 0 comments

Okay, this isn’t exactly mind-blowing, but we’ve sanitized our meat in the grocery store so much that we never really come face to face with whole fish or animals. Yes, flatfish are flat, and what might be weirder to conceptualize is that both of their eyes are on the same (up) side. Go ahead and Google flounder, and not the Little Mermaid one. Kind of gnarly looking, right? They are born with eyes on both sides, and they eventually migrate to one side.

I have vivid memories of butchering skate in culinary school and I can tell you that flatfish are harder to break down than a roundfish (yes, that’s the name for the other shape of fish). Types of flatfish you might have encountered are flounder, turbot, Atlantic halibut, brill, and sole. The anatomy of the flatfish comes from survival, as they will sit flat on the bottom of the ocean, camouflaging themselves from predators by blending in with the ocean floor. 

Image by Brian Yurasits on Unsplash

Written by David Salerno

Originally from the Northeast, David (he/him) has been in Seattle since 2016. He studied classic culinary arts at the French Culinary Institute in NYC and currently works as the Senior Meal Program Coordinator at HIP. He can completely nerd out over culinary anthropology and can talk about food and food science for hours with anyone who is willing to listen. When not in the kitchen, you can find him playing hockey or running in different neighborhoods of Seattle.

March 10, 2023

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