Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

barbel a name usually applied only to Barbus barbus, a C. European species of freshwater fish in the carp family. Other Barbus spp are called barb.

The flesh of the barbel is bony; so it is not greatly esteemed or used as food. The roe is said to be toxic, and may sometimes be so, but Blanchard (1866) recalls that the naturalist Bloch ate barbel eggs, as did other members of his family, without ill effect.