THE HIGHLY COVETED SPANISH SEA BASS remains a favorite on menus across the world. Akin to our American striped bass, this fish is known as Lubina in Spanish, Loup de Mer (literally: “wolf of the sea”) in French, and Robalo in Portuguese. Whatever the language, Spanish sea bass remains in demand and wild caught fish continue to command higher prices. While pen aquaculture for this fish is abundant in the Mediterranean Sea, the superior farming practices and pristine near-natural ecosystem at Veta la Palma raises the bar for high quality, responsibly raised sea bass.
Within the closed system at Veta la Palma, lubina are raised in brood pens under protection until they are grown to a juvenile size and then introduced into the open water systems that comprise the farm’s marshland sanctuary. While they have seasonal access to demand feeders for supplemental nutrition, the plentiful natural sources of shrimp, aquatic insects, and smaller fish serve as their primary diet – resulting in a near wild flavor unmatched by other farmed European bass. Harvested to order by hand in low impact seine nets, the fish are immediately put into slush ice and shipped for sale, resulting in peak fresh fish.
A voracious predatory fish, the lubina’s culinary popularity is attributed to its firm flesh that cooks well in virtually all preparations – whether served whole or off the bone. The absence of small bones makes its fillets easy to handle and serve and to present the whole fish. And its sweet, mild flavor stands up well to even the most basic of seasonings. Served poached hot or cold, grilled or baked whole and stuffed, pan seared fillets, and even whole roasted with or without a salt crust.
Browne Trading imports Veta la Palma lubina weekly; fish are typically sold as 2 lb, 3-4 lb, and 4-6 lb fish.
Harvest Region: Raised in Free Water at the Veta la Palma Estate – Seville, Spain
Seasonality: Year Round
Yield (Fillet Percentage): 51%
Flavor Profile: Sweet and mild
Texture Profile: Finely textured and flakey, firm