Flathead Grey Mullet
In Greek mythology, flathead grey mullet was the progenitor of the Attic family of the Cephalides.
Flathead grey mullet
Mullet is a fish species typically measuring between 30 to 70 cm in length. This adaptable species, known scientifically as Mugil cephalus and part of the Mugilidae family, undergoes name and appearance changes based on age and sex. It goes by various names such as “steiradia” for males and “baffa” for egg-laying females, in addition to “miksinaria” and “chrysochromoi,” among others.
Mugil cephalus lives in flocks mainly in shallow waters, in harbors, and lagoons, and occasionally ventures into rivers. In the Greek seas, you’ll encounter an abundance of Flathead grey mullet, particularly in the lagoons of Ambracian Gulf and Messolonghi. Mullet fishing in the Ambracian Gulf typically takes place during its reproduction season, from late August to mid-September, primarily in the ivaria, the natural fish farms found within the lagoons. The fishing in ivaria is a natural water collection method, which does not require any human intervention.
When caught in clear waters, mullet becomes a highly delectable fish, celebrated for its tender and flavorful meat.
Nutritional value: From a nutritional perspective, a 100-gram serving of mullet provides approximately 180 calories and 18 grams of protein.
The ” split open mullet” (kephalos petali in Greek) is a typical method of processing the mugil cephalus. The fish is opened from the upper side of the back and is divided into two parts which are joined to the abdomen. The mullet is dried open in the sun and then grilled or cooked in the oven.
From the female mullet, which the local fishermen call “Bafa” (the female flathead grey mullet), is produced the avgotaraxo or avgotaracho, referred to as caviar of Greece and gold of the lagoon. Avgotaracho is a fine and expensive appetizer with nutritional value, as it contains a significant amount of vitamins E & C and omega-3 polyunsaturated fats. Also, contains significant amounts of squalene and phytosterols, substances that under certain conditions reduce the level of cholesterol. The significant amounts of antioxidant vitamin E (about 4 mg/100 g), contained in avgotaracho, act as an inhibitor to the action of platelet activation factor. This is one of the strongest inflammatory factors that have been identified and bears direct responsibility for the formation of atherosclerotic plaques in the vessels.