You may see Jolthead Porgy, Red Porgy, or other local porgies in our fresh selection in a given week. If you have never heard of a Porgy, you may have heard the name Bream. Sea Bream is a popular fish in Europe. A “Porgy” is what we call a Bream in North America. Take a Porgy across the Atlantic ocean and the same fish is now called a Bream.
Sea Bream is probably the most famous of all the Porgies in Europe. It goes by many names such as Dorade in French, Dorada in Spanish, and Orata in Italian. Sea Bream in European cookbooks and restaurants usually refer to the Gilt Head Bream, which is a different fish than a Jolthead Porgy, Scup, Sheepshead, or Red Porgy you will see on the board at Locals Seafood. They are, however, in the same family of fish (Sparidae) that includes over 150 species. Their texture and flavor are similar, and you can safely substitute a Porgy in a recipe for Sea Bream. There are even sources out there who will go ahead and say that any species of Porgy is the same as a Sea Bream. Our love for Latin and getting specific with different species is so strong we are compelled to point out the details.
How do Porgies taste? They are a white, tender, sweet meat with decent flake. Steve Potak at our Raleigh market once served Jolthead Porgy to friends with nothing but a little oil, salt, and pepper. His dinner guests swore up and down he used herbs when it was simply the natural flavor of the fish.
If you love Snapper or Sheepshead but only see Porgy or Scup on the board, give it a try. We believe you will be pleasantly surprised!
Red Porgy (aka Pink Snapper, Pinkies)