Why Is Chilean Sea Bass So Famous?

Have you ever heard of Patagonian or Antarctic toothfish?

Both of these are names for the popular Chilean sea bass that is available at select seafood restaurants.

Many people overlook this fish when it is on a menu because they aren’t sure what it is.

Continue reading to learn more about the Chilean sea bass and its interesting history.

The Basics of Chilean Sea Bass

Chilean sea bass is a high-quality fish that comes from the shores of Chile. This area is known to have excellent fish and traditional dishes that people can’t get enough of and Chilean sea bass is one of them.

This high- end fish is quite popular and can only be found in the nicest restaurants. Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that you would have the chance to get this at chain seafood restaurants because it is a top dollar item.

Below is further information on this fish and how it became so popular.

All in the Name

Photo of Chilean Sea Bass Patagoniani Toothfish
Patagonian Toothfish aka Chilean Sea Bass

As stated above, Chilean sea bass has not always had this name, it used to be called Patagonian and Antarctic Toothfish. Many people had no desire to eat this fish because the name sounded so unappetizing.

It wasn’t until 1977 when a fish wholesaler by the name of Lee Lantz changed the name. But it wasn’t until 1994 that the United States Food and Drug Administration officially accepted the name Chilean seabass as an acceptable alternative for this delectable cod icefish.

Once the name was changed, it became more popular and as more people wanted to try it, Chilean Sea Bass found its way on to dinner menus.

Top Contender of the Popularity Contest

Chilean sea bass has an interesting history. Before they changed the name, no one was fishing for Chilean sea bass. With the more appealing name change and an increase in marketing, this fish became more popular and gained interest from people who once put their nose up to this fish.

Around this same time, many of the popular options were being overfished, so it gave the perfect chance for Chilean sea bass to thrive. And it hasn’t looked back.

Characteristics of Chilean Sea Bass

Chilean sea bass is a white and flaky fish that tastes similar to cod. When it is properly cooked, it should have a smooth and buttery feel and taste. It can be cooked in almost any way imaginable and the spice options for it are endless.

Because this type of fish pairs so well with spices, it is easy to integrate into your diet and favorite recipes. Since it is a fish, it is important to be aware of mercury levels and portions suggested so that you are not harmed from eating to much of it.

These fish are thought to live up to 50 years and can way over 200 pounds. Some of the largest Chilean sea basses can reach a length of 7.5ft!

Health Benefits of Chilean Sea Bass

In addition to tasting so good, Chilean Sea Bass offers some great health benefits too!

  • High amounts of Vitamin D – Having enough vitamin D is important for a number of reasons, such as maintaining healthy bones and teeth.
  • Rich source of Protein – Your body needs a sufficient amount of protein to build and repair tissues.  Protein is also needed to make hormones, enzymes, and other body chemicals. Protein is essential as a building block for your bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.
  • Plenty of Omega-3 Fatty Acid – having enough Omega-3 Fatty acid in your diet is essential in preventing and managing heart disease. It can help reduce the likelihood of heart attack and stroke.

Taking the Dive

Chilean Sea Bass served on white plate
Delicious Chilean Sea Bass

Chilean sea bass is an excellent fish to eat if you are looking for something smooth, buttery, and worth your money. Although it may not be the cheapest fish on the market, taking the dive and trying this fish won’t leave you disappointed.

Check out our blog to continue learning about other popular Chilean dishes.

If you’ve worked up an appetite for some delicious imported latin foods, you can shop for Chilean foods & drinks or pretty much any hard to find latin foods at our online store.

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