For people who care about their food

Blackbelly Rosefish

Blackbelly rosefish on ice

Whilst in the Arkadia supermarket in Victoria, Gozo I spotted a really ugly fish, called a cippullazz according to its label. I asked Vince, the fishmonger, about it. He said that it was a blackbelly rosefish and expensive but a terrific fish to eat. I’d never even heard of a blackbelly rosefish before, let alone seen one, so naturally I had to buy it. Sorry about the photo, by the way, it was a wee bit difficult from the confines of a wheelchair.

I just cooked it simply by wrapping it in tin foil along with a splash of white wine, a good drizzle of olive oil, some herbs and seasoning, and a few lemon wedges. Then I baked it in the oven. The result was delicious! I would most definitely buy a blackbelly rosefish if I had the opportunity again. The flesh was delicate and white, despite the rather scary countenance of the fish itself. Try one if you get the chance!

I believe that the scientific name for this fish is helicolenus dactylopterus dactylopterus in case any of you would like to do further research. There’s quite a bit of information about the fish (plus a better photo) here. Personally, I don’t always want to know the exact details of what it was I just ate.

5 Responses to “Blackbelly Rosefish”

  1. Nikki Pilkington

    I love trying new fish, so will be sure to look out for that one! He looks a bit grumpy, but then again so would I if someone was about to eat me and then blog about it 🙂

  2. Not Delia

    Hi Nikki

    Thanks for the comment. What would make you grumpy? Someone eating you or blogging about the fact that they had just done it?

    I feel sure the fishmonger thought I was a nutcase anyway. I wheeled up to the counter with my eye level at about groin height – look out! Then did my David Bailey stuff of taking portrait shots of the fish. Then tried to kill time until Mr ND returned – he’d forgotten to put any money in his wallet (bah! men), and had to go “home” to get some.

    Vince, the fishmonger, was very pleasant but I swear he breathed a palpable sigh of relief when my “carer” came to buy the fish I wanted and wheel me away elsewhere.

  3. Mr Not Delia

    he’d forgotten to put any money in his wallet

    Not quite true. I’d put nearly €100 in my wallet earlier that day. What ND’s omitting to mention is that she’d just blown most of it on lunch (OK, that one’s a fairish cop – it was her birthday, and I knew it wasn’t going to be cheap :twisted:) and on yet another gadget.

  4. Max

    I stumbled on this while doing a search on google. Here in Florida in the U.S. – we literally catch a limitless amount of these fishing in deep (750 ft. +) waters with an electric reel – In 4 hours, I can put about 50 of them in the cooler and yes, they are delicious and exotic. The fact that these fish live in clean cold deep water and feed primarily on crustaceans makes their flesh white, mild and flaky – almost tastes like chicken!

  5. Not Delia

    Hi Max

    Thanks for your comment. Crikey! 50+ in a few hours? I don’t know how they catch them in Malta, but it was a seriously expensive fish.

    I can easily believe they eat crustaceans. The fish had an incredibly powerful jaw, when stripped of flesh the skeleton revealed an almost bird-like skull – plus teeth.

    Chicken? 🙂

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