Croakers, Grunts, Small Fry, and Sea Bass – Fish in Lima

Lima is a city of fish eaters. The advice is to eat the freshest fish of the day. But, what is it? Usually, the waiter explains that it is a local white-fleshed fish. Here is list of some of the fish I’ve seen served in restaurants here in Lima. I’m not a fisher so most of my research is from the worldwide web and my local subject matter experts (who are better than Google!). Also useful sites were the FAO and this blog.

Corvina = croaker, grunt, or drum: used for ceviche and almost everything else.
Mero = grouper: also commonly used here.
Chita = grunt: usually deep fried whole so you can eat it with your hands.
Lenguado = Dover sole: delicate fish often used to stuff with crab meat.
Cabrilla = rock sea bass: like corvina
Ojo de uva (grape eye) = sea bass: used like corvina
Charela/Cherela = weakfish (probably in the croaker family): also used like corvina
Espada (and espadilla) = swordfish (and scabbard fish): firm dry fish
Pejerrey = smelt/silverfish: Young fish or “small fry” hence why it’s usually fried.
Lisa (mujol) = mullet: But not “business in the front; party in the back” kind of mullet.
Rodaballo = turbot: A flatfish.
Trucha – trout (This name is used for smaller river fish and for the larger, orange-fleshed salmon-like fish). Keep in mind that salmon in Lima is imported from Chile.
Atun – tuna
Most of these fish names change depending on where you are fishing, and on fashion. For example, corvina sounds better than croaker. I imagine that many restaurants in English speaking places will start using corvina rather than croaker on their menus.

National Foods of The Bahamas

bs grits tunaHere in Nassau, when I asked people to tell me about the national foods of The Bahamas, this is what they told me about:

Peas and rice: Rice with a pulse — from green peas, beans, lentils, etc. They even have “corn and rice” but the important thing is to get some peas and rice. I would hear people talking about it on the streets. It’s a vital part of the day.

bs macBaked macaroni: or “mac and cheese” which is addictively delicious. It’s pasta, cheese, and a touch of jalapenos, baked with cheese on top. It can be cut like cake. Yum oh.

bs menuCracked conch: is deep fried conch.

Johnny cakes: like corn bread but less corny.

bs souseSouse: a soup to use for dipping your johnny cakes. You can add the spicy sauce as well.

Grouper: fish — baked, boiled, steamed, and cracked (deep fried).

Fish stew (tuna) and grits: anything with grits (when it’s a ground meat sauce, then it’s called “Fire Engine” which is classic comfort food. Even for breakfast. See photo above.

bs breakfast menuLobster: warm water spiny lobster tails. Popular in every way.

Chicken in da bag: deep fried chicken.

Ribs: barbecued.


The food in the Bahamas reminded me of foods of the American South. Comforting and hearty.

And one drink was mentioned to me.

Sky juice/gully wash: rum, coconut, and condensed milk. Too sweet for me.