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balestra

grey triggerfish

A big, tasty Atlantic fish, Balistes capriscus is also known as pesce porco (pigfish) because it grunts when you catch it. Now found in the southern Mediterranean, and occasionally present in south Italian markets, especially in Sardinia. The skin is leathery and toxic (wear gloves to clean it) but that hasn't stopped the Italians from baking it with olives and fennel, frying breaded filets, and stuffing it in ravioli.

Some people call pesce porco what is really the angular roughshark, now an endangered species.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: Hedwig Storch, Creative Commons License