Grayling – Characteristics and Natural Habitat

Graylings are part of the salmon family and live in rivers and lakes across Europe, Siberia and North America - the main prerequisite is cold and clear water. Graylings can grow to be between 30 to 50 centimetres in length and may weigh up to 1,500 grams, depending on size. Their diet mainly consists of insects, worms and other small animals. The grayling’s body is long and spindle-shaped with a distinctive tail fin. Its pointy and tapered-shaped eyes are another distinctive attribute.

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Grayling

In Switzerland Grayling is one of the most popular fish and was even the 2016 Swiss Fish of the Year. Sadly, the sensitive fish increasingly faces challenges in nature – the rivers in the alpine upland are under immense pressure and too warm in the summer. To make sure that fresh grayling can remain part of our diets, they are now cultivated.

Grayling – Preparation

Although grayling is part of the salmon family, its preparation is more similar to trout, as it is usually bought whole rather than as a fillet. Grayling can be found at the fresh fish counter and should be transported home as quickly as possible, stored on the lowest shelf of the fridge at 0 to 2°C and ideally prepared on the day of purchase.

Grayling usually does not have to be gutted, but a few steps must be taken to get it ready to be cooked. Remove the fins and tail, and descale the fish, if you want to fry it with the skin on. Rinse the grayling under cold running water and carefully pat dry using a kitchen towel. Next, season the fish – lemon juice, salt and pepper are traditional, almost obligatory seasonings that lend the mild taste a little sourness and spiciness.

Grayling – A Hint of Thyme

The taste of grayling contains an aromatic hint of thyme, which means it harmonises particularly well with Mediterranean herbs like rosemary, basil and oregano. If you want to grill or fry grayling whole, stuff it with herbs of your choice. Finally, drizzle a little plant oil over the fish and place it on the grill. Depending on size, grayling needs six to seven minutes on each side to cook.

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