The scabbardfish is also called paddlefish and lives in the Mediterranean in deep waters (80-100 m). In Italy it is appreciated in a different way: in the Ionian and lower Tyrrhenian areas, where it is very common, it is considered of the highest quality , while in the Adriatic it is often thrown back into the water, because there is no tradition of consumption. It is a fish with an elongated shape, flattened laterally, which often exceeds one meter in length.
Completely devoid of scales, the scabbard has white and firm flesh, easily separable from the bone and skin. The best size is for larger sizes (from 500 g to 1 kg) and lends itself to different preparations: if it is of a good size, it is filleted and used for rolls, grilled or, in the Sicilian tradition, "cutlet"; otherwise, it is cut into chunks and fried.
The scabbard fish is not bred, neither in Italy nor abroad, so all the catch is from catch. To recognize the freshness of the scabbard fish , look at the eye, which must be convex, and the livery: if it is silver and bright, without stripes on the sides, it means that it is very fresh. Sometimes, when touched, it leaves a silvery trace on the fingers. If, on the other hand, the eye is concave and the color seems white, it is better not to buy it.