From The Madeira Island Web Site
Espada Preta in the Market and Economy of Madeira
By Jorge Barbosa
Jun 5, 2008 - 6:34:59 PM
A Black Scabbard is pulled from its abyssal depths
The fish are sold fresh at the market initially as they were found: completely black and uncleaned. Except for the stomach entrails which ejects naturally during the reeling in of the fish. That is, the fish, as it is pulled up to sea level, suffers such immense decompression from oxygen in its interiors that the stomach and other entrails literally pop out of its own mouth. However, most fishmongers will remove the head and remaining entrails and scrub the black scaleless skin on demand at the fish market.
The fish has an extraordinarily fine white flesh and is very easy cut off from off its small spiked bones from off the spinal cartilage. Its taste is also very subtle and quite inconspicuous on the palette. The meat is usually served with fruits, like banana, to add a sweet relief to the abundant and sticky white flesh. Many recipes include rolling the fish in a mixture of flour and egg and then frying or grilling the fish. It is uncommon to find it used in soups.
Most restaurants in Funchal that cater or serve traditional dishes to the local population will have Espada as a standard on their fare. It is a tourism must-do or must-eat to experience at least one thing that makes Madeira unique from any other holiday spot in the world.
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