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Sole; Dover (Linnaeus)

Superb flat-fish, with a unique elongated oval shape. The true sole solea solea (known in Britain as Dover Sole) is only found in the waters of the Eastern Atlantic - and grows to up to 50cm. The best supply to the London markets used to arrive via Dover, hence the British name.

The back is brown (with a hint of red) in colour. It can grow to about 45cm, and all over 30cm are better filleted - the bones making excellent stock. Fish under 8oz (225g) are known as slips, and considerably cheaper - being better used as starters or as part of a light meal

Sole can be used in any recipe calling for brill, halibut or turbot; but is probably at its best simply grilled. Strangely this fish is at its best about a day after landing, not only does its flavour develop, it is extremely difficult to skin when it is over-fresh, without removing flesh with the skin. See also "Lemon Sole (Microstomus kitt)"; "Sand Sole (Pegusa lascaris)"

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