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Mackerel (Scomber scombrus)

Mackerel Mackerel

Common names for Mackerel

Atlantic mackerel

Other languages for Mackerel

  • French name: Maquereau
  • Italian name: Sgombro
  • German name: Makrele

Introduction to Mackerel

Mackerel is an attractive but underappreciated fish, most likely because it lacks the gentle whitefish character that American consumers like. The mackerel resembles its relative, the tuna, but is smaller – often weighing between 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 pounds. The Atlantic mackerel is shaped for fast swimming and may reach speeds of up to 70 miles per hour when danger approaches. On both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, mackerel congregate in huge schools. Mackerel range from northern Carolina to southern Labrador in the Northwest Atlantic. They are found in the eastern Atlantic off Iceland and northern Norway. They are harvested by Europeans using freezer trawlers. Purse seine harvesting is the preferred technique of harvesting in North America. Tinkers, or immature mackerel, are accessible in the spring and weigh less than a pound. They are a popular seasonal delicacy in New England and sell for a fraction of the price of mature fish, which are at their peak during the summer months.

Product profile for Mackerel

Mackerel has a strong, rich taste. The flesh is juicy, tender, and flaky. For a softer flavor, chop off the outer bands of black, strong-tasting flesh around the midline. The raw fish appears grayish and greasy but tightens up and becomes off-white to beige when cooked. The eyes should be brilliant and concave, and the skin of new fish should have a beautiful shine. The skin has a velvety feel due to the small scales that cover the whole body. After the fish dies, the mackerel’s unique colour fades fast.

Cooking tips for Mackerel

Because of its high omega-3 fatty acid content, mackerel is regarded one of the healthiest fish. Mackerel is a great option for grilling or smoking due to its high oil content. Before cooking, a lime marinade smooths the flavor and hardens and whitens the meat. Europeans serve mackerel with a tart, acidic sauce like gooseberry or unsweetened cranberry sauce to balance off the strong flavor.

Nutrition facts for Mackerel

Calories: 205 Fat Calories: 125 Total Fat: 13.9 g Saturated Fat: 3.3 g Cholesterol: 70 mg Sodium: 90 mg Protein: 18.6 g Omega 3: 2.5 g

Primary product forms for Mackerel

Fresh: Whole (gutted or ungutted), H&G Frozen: Whole (gutted or ungutted), H&G Value-added: Smoked, Cured (pickled), Salted

Global supply for Mackerel

Canada, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, UK, United States, Iran