John Dory

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Zeus spp, fish of remarkable shape, deep and thin in the body, which occur in the Mediterranean and eastern N. Atlantic (Z. faber) and also in Australasian waters (Z. australis) and in the NW Pacific (Z. japonicus).

Maximum length of these fish is around 60 cm (24"), and a large specimen may weigh as much as 3 or 4 kg (7–9 lb). Market size is usually about half as large.
The thin body serves a purpose. These fish cannot swim very fast, so are unable to catch their prey by speed. Instead they use stealth, approaching with an almost invisible profile and then shooting out the huge, retractable jaws to engulf the victim.