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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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halibut Hippoglossus hippoglossus, the largest of the flatfish, has been known to reach a length of 2.5 m (8') and a weight over 300 kg (650 lb). It is a fish of the N. Atlantic, ranging from the cold waters of the Arctic down to New Jersey and Scotland. The colour of the eyed side is greenish-brown or dark brown.

The Pacific halibut, H. stenolepis, does not attain quite the size of the Atlantic species, but may still be huge. It ranges from C. California through Alaska to N. Asian waters.

The name used to be spelled ‘holibut’, and ‘holy’ forms part of its name in several languages. The reason for this is not clear. The flesh of the halibut tends to be dry, and in large specimens coarse.