Red Snapper is a lean, moist fish with a firm texture and a distinctive sweet, nutty flavor which makes it versatile for many flavor components from mild to intense seasoning. Many other fish are marketed as “Red Snapper” but are not the real thing so check your sources, and buy it with the skin on so you can verify the skin color.
Northern red snapper – Wikipedia
The northern red snapper is found in the Gulf of Mexico and the southeastern Atlantic coast of the United States and much less commonly northward as far as Massachusetts. In Latin American Spanish, it is known as huachinango, pargo, or chillo.
This species commonly inhabits waters from 9–60 m (30–200 ft), but can be caught as deep as 90 m (300 ft) on occasion. They stay relatively close to the bottom, and inhabit rocky bottoms, ledges, ridges, and artificial reefs, including offshore oil rigs and shipwrecks. Like most other snappers, northern red snapper are gregarious and form large schools around wrecks and reefs. These schools are usually made up of fish of very similar size.
Red Snapper belongs to the Lutjanidae family. The northern red snapper (Lutjanus campechanus) is a species of snapper native to the western Atlantic Ocean including the Gulf of Mexico, where it inhabits environments associated with reefs. This species is commercially important and is also sought-after as a game fish.
The raw flesh of Red Snapper is pinkish with yellow streaks, turning lighter (but not white) when cooked. The skin is deep red along the back which fades to a lighter pinkish-red on the on the belly.
The northern red snapper’s body is very similar in shape to other snappers, such as the mangrove snapper, mutton snapper, lane snapper, and dog snapper. All feature a sloped profile, medium-to-large scales, a spiny dorsal fin, and a laterally compressed body. Northern red snapper have short, sharp, needle-like teeth, but they lack the prominent upper canine teeth found on the mutton, dog, and mangrove snappers. This snapper reaches maturity at a length of about 39 cm (15 in). The common adult length is 60 cm (24 in), but may reach 100 cm (39 in). The maximum published weight is 38 kg (84 lb), and the oldest reported age is 100+ years. Coloration of the northern red snapper is light red, with more intense pigment on the back. It has 10 dorsal spines, 14 soft dorsal rays, three anal spines and eight to 9 anal soft rays. Juvenile fish (shorter than 30–35 cm) can also have a dark spot on their sides, below the anterior soft dorsal rays, which fades with age.
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