Wolf-Fish

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

wolf-fish Anarhichas lupus, a fine fish of moderately deep water in the N. Atlantic (from New Jersey up to Greenland and down to Scotland), which has a maximum length of 120 cm (47"). It belongs to a family referred to sometimes as marine catfish, which may be technically correct but is puzzling since the wolf-fish does not have the ‘whiskers’ which are characteristic of catfish, and its formidable teeth are described as being ‘doglike’. However, the main point is that it makes excellent eating. It is appreciated particularly by the Dutch, who call it zeewolf (whereas in Scandinavia the cat theme is echoed with names like havkat, meaning sea cat; and the Icelandic name means stone-biter, referring to the teeth).