The ancient Romans had a ritual murder of mullet in the middle of the feast. The philosopher Seneca wrote
on this subject: "There is no more beautiful sight than red mullet, dying in agony. In the fight to the death, it becomes a purple color, which goes into the general pallor ... ".
Red mullet (sultan ordinary, Barva, krasnoborodka, mullahs) - gregarious marine fish of the family Barabulevyh having elongate, compressed on the sides of the body unevenly painted in red tone. The head of the fish is large, with an almost vertical snout and two long whiskers hanging from his chin. The fins are pale yellow. The size of the fish is rarely more than 30 centimeters, but the meat on her taste extraordinarily delicious and tender that has long been appreciated by fishermen ply the coast of the Azov, Black and Mediterranean seas.
Mullet is common not only in these water basins. It can be found all along the east coast of the Atlantic Ocean, from the UK and Scandinavia to the Canary Islands and the Azores and Dakar. Small flocks of fish prefer to stay in a soft muddy or sandy bottom at a depth of about 30 meters. With their antennae they "dig" in the ground in search of food - small invertebrates. Spawning at mullet occurs from May to August. At this time, each female lays several batches of eggs, which after fertilization, the water rises to the top. A few days later the larvae hatch from the eggs, which are beginning to eat and a couple of months turned into young fishes length of 5 cm with a typical coat color for barabulek.
Nutritional value mullet duly appreciated by the ancient Romans. Especially in high esteem were large specimens for which the rich were willing to shell out a tidy sum. Called a fish in those days, "the mullahs" and pay by weight of silver fish. The Roman poet Horace regarding such undue extravagance wrote: "Praise the Mad Mullah you for only one thing, that it is precisely the weight of three pounds ...".
But the patricians did not regret the money and bought the fish for fabulous sum in those days
. Why fish is so expensive cost? Here's the thing: the Romans were among the first in Europe learned to contain barabulek in special pools - "pistsinah"
. Serve these large aquariums were very expensive and troublesome, because the sea water in them quickly stagnate and ports, so it was necessary to ensure that the pool water is constantly changed
. And the water was brought from the sea
. The content of fish was considered a sign pistsinah prestige and wealth, but many did not approve of such entertainment
. For example, the famous orator Cicero wrote: "The Romans, how futile exercise you enjoy! I am ashamed to say, but some fancy themselves gods, if they can teach Mullah sail for their call and feed with their hands "
. However, this did not prevent the guests to admire pistsinami, extol their master, and then with an appetite to eat the inhabitants of aquariums
. Conveniently, for live and fresh fish is always on hand!
Mullet is not just eating. There was a ritual. The fish were killed in the yard before the gaze of numerous guests. This is due to the fact that at the time of death the fish is covered with bright carmine spots, and to the extent that, as the life leaves it, its color becomes pale again. Thereafter red mullet fry cook and serve.
Currently, such fun has long outlived her, and many people find them, even cruel. But for the ancient Romans death some small fish compared to the bloody battles in the Coliseum?
How to cook red mullet?
countries mullet nutritious properties and is now at a premium. There everyone knows how to cook red mullet. In addition, it is tasty in any form, and it can not damage the palatability no cooking. From mullet cook delicious soup, making dried fish, grilled or pan with spices, baked in the oven.
Even the most inept cook knows how to cook red mullet, because the fish is completely absent bile, so it can even carve and gut. Of course, most often served in restaurants small fish gutted, but with his head. It is considered the medium-sized fish delicacy and gentle, and therefore is the most expensive.
Gourmets like red mullet stew in white wine with spices and grape leaves or fry in melted butter with breadcrumbs. Especially popular fried red mullet in the Ukraine and Russia.
The composition and the beneficial properties of red mullet
Red mullet - a fairly high-calorie fish, about 150 kcal per 100 g of product. However, despite this, it does not promote weight gain, as in its composition there are many valuable protein and low in fat. Fat is predominantly polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are extremely useful for the nervous and cardiovascular systems.
Red mullet recuperate after a long exercise. It contains vitamin A, B vitamins, ascorbic acid and niacin, and minerals, thanks to which the fish is very useful for young children, the elderly and pregnant women.
Contraindications to eat mullet is an idiosyncrasy.