Red Mullet

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

red mullet Mullus barbatus and M. surmuletus, are among the most prized fish of the Mediterranean, distinguished by their crimson colour and delicate flesh. They are also found in the Atlantic, M. surmuletus as far north as the south coast of Britain. A Black Sea version of M. barbatus is recognized as M. barbatus ponticus.

M. barbatus is smaller (maximum length 25 cm/10") and paler than M. surmuletus (maximum length 40 cm/16"). The latter often bears horizontal yellow stripes on its sides; and its common names usually mean ‘of the rocks’ (thus, French rouget de roche, Italian triglia di scoglio).