Some of the fish and other seafoods in the seas of Turkey are available year-round, and as a result of aquaculture, one can increasingly find any fish one wants, whatever the season. But some of these are much more flavorful in certain months, and for this reason it is helpful to provide a guide to the changing flavors of fish throughout the year. (Freshwater fish and cultured fish are not included in this list.)
At the end of the article is a list of the fish with their Turkish names.
Mackerel, bluefish, bonito and horse mackerel are at their most delicious. Gray mullet and hamsi are completely fatted. Small and medium-sized bluefish) are good, as are large bluefish. The mussel season has just begun. Striped red mullet and red gurnard are plentiful.
The turbot season has begun, and will continue until the end of May. Striped red mullet is plentiful. Mackerel, bluefish and bonito have been losing their fat for a month. Sand smelt, gray mullet and small bluefish are tasty.
Gray mullet, sea bass and turbot are at their best. Mackerel is being salted and made into çiroz.
Turbot is still the best fish on the market and is very plentiful. Red sea bream, sea bass, swordfish and red gurnard are more plentiful than in other months.
Lobster, sea bass, red mullet, sole, striped red mullet, swordfish, red gurnard, crab, shrimp and scorpion fish are at their best. Young turbot and three-bearded rockling are starting to appear.
This is a low season for fish, they are scattered and not in their usual waters.
This is sardine season. Striped red mullet and red mullet continue to be good. Lobster, crap and crayfish are plentiful.
Young bonito are just beginning to appear. Sardines, swordfish, red sea bream, snapper, lobster and crap are among the decent fish and seafood during this month.
Sardines and swordfish continue to be tasty. Bonito has grown and is suitable for many different dishes. Sea bass, chub mackerel, sea bream and red gurnard are plentiful.
This is the month in which migratory fish which have fed throughout the summer in the Black Sea begin their return to the Marmara Sea. All fish become more plentiful during this month.
The abundance and good flavor of October continues. This month flounder is at its best. Large bonito becomes abundant, and is made into lakerda.
Mackerel, sea bass, bonito and large bonito are well fatted and good for all types of dishes. Striped gray mullet is abundant, and hamsi is at its best.
Turkish Fish Names
Turkish is interesting in that some fish have different names for different sizes of the same species. Hamsi is sometimes translated “anchovy,” however anchovy is not a particular species. It is unique to the Black Sea and has no exact English equivalent.
|Gilthead Sea Bream
|Red Sea Bream
|Striped Red Mullet