Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

roe the eggs or spawn contained in the ovaries of a female fish, especially when ripe. These may also be called hard roe. Soft roe refers to the ripe testes (milt) of a male fish.

The roe of some fish is a delicacy. caviar is the outstanding example. Other luxury products are boutargue and taramosalata. However, humbler, unprocessed, roes can also be delicious and may constitute a dish in their own right, e.g. fried slices of cod roe, shad roe in the USA, and soft herring roes on toast in Europe. Finnish people are outstanding connoisseurs of fish roe, e.g. of salmon, whitefish, trout, and burbot.