Other Common Names:
The name "Dover" comes from the southeastern English port of Dover, which landed the most sole in the 19th Century. That being said, don't confuse European Dover sole with America's West Coast Dover sole; They are not the same fish.
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Identification & Biology: Like the flounder, the Dover sole is a pancake-flat fish with both eyes on one side of its head, making it well adapted to living on the ocean bottom. The small eyes are close to each other on the right-hand side of the body. This gives the fish the possibility of lurking half-buried in the sand for passing prey. Dover sole come from marine fisheries, not fish farms. They are primarily caught with trawls. Additional types of fishing gear include handlines and traps.
Range & Habitat: The Common Sole, Solea solea, is a species of fish in the Soleidae family. It has a preference for relatively shallow water with sand or mud covering the bottom. It is found in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean, from the south of Norway to Senegal, and in almost all of the Mediterranean Sea. In the winter it withdraws to the somewhat warmer waters of the Southern North Sea.
Market Description: Chefs prize true Dover sole for its mild, buttery sweet flavor and versatility.
Buying Tips: European Dover sole yields thicker, firmer fillets and is much more highly esteemed than West Coast sole — a fact clearly reflected in price.
Recommended Preparation: The fish yields thin, yet firm fillets that hold together well in a variety of recipes. Most chefs prefer to keep it simple and let the fish speak for itself.