Many people think that the slim-bodied hake is a special type of fish that can be found only in Lake Balaton; however, in most cases, it does not even come from Europe. Now, let us list some other interesting facts about the special delicacy that might surprise you.
Hake (Merluccius merluccius) is a marine predator fish, also known as duck fish or sea pike. In Europe, this type of fish has already been caught in the surrounding waters, that is why it is being brought from different parts of the world, such as Argentina, Peru, or Chile.
Even though we can discover a wide variety of delicious fish around Lake Balaton and all over the country, for some reason, hake has become one of the most popular of all. It has been consumed in Hungary since the 1960s and has gained great popularity since then. Originally, the hake was imported to Hungary to compensate for the shortage of stocks due to the export of Hungarian freshwater fish.
Soon, it became very popular due to its easy method of preparation, its white meat and relatively few small bones.
As a result, nowadays, hake has become the most popular fish at Lake Balaton. Still, Hungary is not the only country where hake has gained extreme popularity. Spain consumes half of the world’s hake production, which means that its yearly consumption is 7kg/person. Besides Spanish consumers, French and Italian people are also very fond of the fish, adding it to several local dishes.
Even though the size available in Hungary is generally known to be 40-50 decagrams, the torpedo-like hake can reach up to 15 kilograms and up to 1.4 metres in length. Its head can be scary due to its extremely long and sharp teeth; that is why their heads are cut off before baking. As Magyarorszagom reports, the predatory fish lives in open waters at a depth of 200-300 metres and mainly eats small fish, such as herring.
Besides hake, other tasty species of fish are also worth trying, such as catfish, carp, bream, walleye, or bass, which are also offered in several buffets around Lake Balaton.
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