Gourmands describe the Atlantic pompano as “the world’s most edible fish.” The flat-bodied, pan-sized pompano is easy to eat whole, a form that shows off the beautiful, silvery skin. The species is harvested from Virginia to Texas, but primarily off Florida’s west coast. Commercial landings are limited, and as a result, prices remain high in most markets. This makes the pompano a tempting target for substitution — and an easy one, since there are several different species of pompano within the confusing Carangidae, or jack, family. The star of the clan, the Atlantic pompano, is often confused with three less delectable relatives: the similar-looking permit, the palometa and the gafftopsail pompano. But it’s not that difficult to tell the real McCoy: Any fish bigger than 3 pounds can be eliminated, since market-sized pompano average 2 pounds.
Images and data provided by SeafoodSource. To view the entire Seafood Handbook, visit SeafoodSource.com.