The French are experts at fish and seafood cookery and have, over centuries, perfected the art of turning a simple piece of fish into a masterpiece at the table. In the following pages you will find information about the multitude of methods of cooking fish, including recipes for Filet de Sole de Bonne Femme and Filet de Truite Grenobloise, two of the most famous classic French fish dishes.
Found in both salt and fresh water, fish (poissons) are composed of four main sections: the head (la tête), the trunk (le tronc) or body, the tail (la queue), and the fins (les negeoires). If the fish is not served whole, the trunk and tail are generally the parts brought to the table, while the head and fins are most frequently used as flavoring agents for fish stocks (fumets). There are thousands of species of fish to be found swimming in the world’s waters, and many of them are individually known by a battery of names, so it is necessary for the cook to become familiar with the nomenclature used locally.