Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

wrasse the usual English name for fish of the family Labridae, of which there are hundreds of species around the world in temperate, subtropical, and tropical waters. Only a small proportion of them are marketed and eaten, and only a few of them have importance as food. The tautog, which is described separately, is probably the most important.

The typical wrasse is a fairly small fish, brightly coloured, thick lipped, well toothed, and furnished with a single dorsal spine of which the spiny (forward) part is much larger than the soft (rear) part.