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œufs de lompe

lumpfish roe

caviar of the lumpfish

Known as ‘the poor man’s caviar’, lumpfish eggs (œufs de lompe) are much cheaper than ‘real’ caviar. When they come out of the fish, they are grey, and then dyed red or black. You’ll find then in little jars by the smoked salmon; they are popular on blinis.

Lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus), at Dorée Tropical Aquarium, Paris.

Most lumpfish are caught in Iceland or Denmark. They are currently being raised, along with wrasse (labre), as a natural way to gobble up the sea lice on farmed salmon.

Fish and seafood

Text © Dana Facaros

Images by Jiel Beaumadier (, User:A,Ocram