Storified by Arya McLean· Fri, Apr 19 2013 17:45:30
It is not really clear if bream actually refers to a group of fish species that can live both in saltwater as well as in fresh water, or if it is simply one type of fish that can live either way. But then, one thing is clear: when talking about bream, we refer to a kind offish that typically comes in a spherical shape, has a short snout, and small to medium sized fins and pectorals. Sometimes, the bream is used as a term for the pomfrets as well as for the porgies, which is yet another kind of fish.
There are various classifications of the bream fish. These include the carp bream, also known as the abramis; the scolopsis, the brama, the etelis, and the nemipterus. There is also the acanthopagrus, the blicca, the lepomis, the lethrinus, and the rhabdosargus. Still others are the argyrops, the chilotilapia, and the gymnocranius.
The Habitat of the Bream
The bream are most bountiful along the shores of Europe. There are lots of bream to be found along the Northern coast lines, as well as in the area from the Balkans up to the Pyrenees along the United Kingdom. Bream species are also found to dwell in bountiful numbers in the Aral Sea, the Black Sea, and the Caspian Sea.
Freshwater bream species are largely fond of lakes, rivers, and ponds. They prefer those that are muddy and teemed with algae, because these serve as their main source of food. On the other hand, for saltwater bream species, the top choice is usually brackish seas. The bream here lurk just near the sea floor, because this is where most of their food is located.
Surprisingly, sans the fact that its real identity is still puzzling to many fish experts, the freshwater bream recipes are actually one popular seafood item. Bream recipes typically make use of the saltwater type of bream, which are often cooked steamed, baked, roasted, or marinated. Bream is a good source of protein and is very low in fats, carbs, and calorie content. Aside from cooking, bream can also be utilized for hobby fishing.
The Bream Size Guide
Bream typically measure 12 inches to 20 inches, or an equivalent of 30 cm to about 55 cm. But there are some species reported to reach lengths of up to 30 inches or so. As for the weight, the usual weight of fished out sea bream is from four pounds to 9 pounds.