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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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char (also known as Arctic char, and sometimes spelled charr, which purists prefer as the original version) Salvelinus alpinus, a fish of the salmon family which occurs in both sea-run and freshwater forms. The former are larger (up to 1 m/40"), and have metallic blue or green backs, and yellowish sides marked with small spots. The coloration of the freshwater races is highly variable, and some of them attain only a small size.

The distribution of the Arctic char at sea is circumpolar. In the N. Atlantic area it descends as far as northern Labrador, Iceland, and N. Norway; but landlocked freshwater populations are found further south (for example, Lake Windermere in England, and Lac Léman in France/Switzerland, where it is the omble chevalier).