The word 'catfish' stands for more than one thing. 'Catfish' is used in literal as well as figurative ways. Basically, Catfish is a kind of fish with a stout, scaleless body with smooth mucus-covered skin. The reason it is called a Catfish is its long tactile barbels giving this fish a look of a Cat with whiskers.
Catfish are freshwater scaleless stout-bodied bony fish with long tangible barbels, which are also related to carps and killifish and are supposed to put in superorder Ostariophysi. Catfish is defined as fish as it falls in order of Siluriformes having features of swimbladder and skull. Catfish are specified for their feature of prominent barbels, but this feature isn't found in all families of catfish. Catfish are naked and smooth type fish and are named so because they have whiskers-like organs near the mouth which look like cat’s whiskers.
They are very diverse, with almost 3,000 species in vertebrates, ranking within second and third orders. Catfish are found in every continent except Antarctica. Some species are also found in the marine environment, including species Ariidae and Plotosidae families. Catfish is considered the only smallest vertebrate parasite that attacks humans as well as there is also reported giant catfish in the Mekong.
Catfish belong to Siluriformes, found throughout the world within freshwater. Catfish feed on living and dead matter of animals and attack small birds, fish, and invertebrates as well. Furthermore, its fast breeding gives it an edge over other local species. It can survive for a long period under shallow mud and can tolerate poorly oxygenated water.
Scientific classification of Catfish:
Catfish belong to species 'Silurus glanis', order Siluriformes while the class of Catfish is Actinopterygii as Catfish possesses a notochord, so it falls in the Phylum Chordata of Kingdom Animalia. The order carries about 40 families.
Diversity of Catfish:
Catfish show vast diversity from tiny parasitic Candiru to the longest Mel Catfish (up to 4m) and the heaviest Mekong giant Catfish weighing up to 350 kg. Several species of catfish can produce an electric shock of up to 350 Volts, while some of the catfish are parasitic in nature.
Catfish' Mode of Nutrition:
Catfish is an omnivorous predator. Depending on the conditions, it can switch efficiently between alternative food sources, eating plants, and detritus when there is a scarcity of prey animals. Small fish, crayfish, clams and snails, aquatic insects, and small mammals are an easy prey for Catfish. Catfish are bottom feeders adapting effectively to the habitat. Being a voracious predator, catfish farming is banned in various countries.
Habitat of Catfish:
Catfish can be found in an incredible range of habitats, from rivers and streams to ponds and reservoirs. Catfish prefer clean, well-oxygenated water with enough prey animals to meet their nutritional needs. Due to its flexible adaptation to the habitat, it can easily be farmed or kept as a pet.
Weberian Apparatus, Catfish’ communication tool:
Weberian Apparatus helps improve the hearing ability of catfish. Catfish are on e of a few fish having this organ.
Catfish, a figurative perspective:
Catfishing is a modern internet-related phenomenon where social tools are used to fabricate online identities to trick or deceive people for various reasons. Emotional/amorous relationships are a few of them. In this era, where the world is turned into a global village, carrying various social media devices, anyone can hide one's identity to engage someone in an online relationship.
Catfishing is not illegal, but various countries are active against it as it leads to numerous illegal activities.
What does Catfish taste like? Does Catfish taste good?
The question that hits the mind is, Is Catfish edible? Is it fatal to consume a catfish?
Yes, Catfish is edible, and it is farmed for food in many parts of the world. Farmed Catfish is preferred over wild varieties. Being a scale-less fish, Catfish is forbidden in many religions and cultures. While in some countries, it is illegal to farm Catfish. Whether there are religious limitations or being illegal to farm, Catfish is still available in the market to satisfy the palates of its customers if you notice sometimes the taste of catfish like beef heart I really enjoy the beaf heart recipe.
- For centuries, Catfish has been eaten in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. There are mixed reviews about its taste and edibility. Some people loved it, and others disliked its watery texture and muddy flavor. So what does Catfish taste like? Does it taste good?
- Well, it is quite difficult to describe a flavor because every person has a different taste, but most catfish eaters say that its taste is mud-like. Catfish has a unique taste. As we know, it is a bottom feeder and lives in murky bottoms, so no one wonders why it tastes like mud.
- This muddy taste varies from mild to strong, depending upon its habitat, especially the quality of water in which catfish live. There are distinct types of Catfish, including farmed and wild, which are different, and we have to look at them separately.
- Wild catfish live in a free environment like rivers and ponds. This type of Catfish has poor eyesight and survives on anything available to eat, even mud. So we find them fishy in the middle and sweeter flavor towards the end of the body tail. Wild catfish which live in the seafloor or muddy streams often taste stronger.
- While farm-raised catfish living in clear fresh water in large cement tanks with no dirt and highly oxygenated water often taste milder as compared to wild catfish. As compared to other white fish, Catfish with less flake and firm flesh have a sweet, mild, and moist taste.
- Some catfish taste fishy, and some are mild in taste, more like the breast meat of chicken. There are three most popular types of Catfish, including Channel, Flathead, and Blue, which are suitable for eating, and each type has a unique taste. Unlike other types, flathead carries less muddy taste as it is a real predator and eats only live fresh food and thus tastes the best.
- Channel catfish tastes like salmon and has a sweet and mild taste. Meanwhile, Bluefish tastes meaty and flatter. Most of the eaters have found Catfish’s taste appealing and can enjoy it without getting bored.
Nutritional value of Catfish:
Catfish is low in calories and rich in lean protein, vitamins, especially B12, and minerals. The National Institutes of Health found that Catfish contains unfavorable Omega-6 contents in high amounts compared to favorable Omega-3 fatty acid content.
Taste of Catfish, a driving force to eat it:
Considering all the barriers like religion, culture, nutritional value, health concerns, and the market of Catfish is still on the go. This fact highlights that people really love to eat Catfish despite of all the odds. The taste of Catfish varies according to its habitat and species. Farm-raised catfish have a different taste as compared to the wild varieties.
As Catfish is a bottom dweller and it likes to stay in muddy waters to prey, the wild variety of Catfish carries a muddy flavour. On the other hand, farm-raised Catfish has a better taste for not being exposed to natural habitats. Almost all fish have a flaky texture, but Catfish has a bit of firm flesh that flakes less. This is the reason that over-cooking a slice of catfish meat is carefully avoided as the less flaky meat of Catfish becomes easily hard and chewy. People love to eat and taste Catfish due to its mouth-watering sweet, mild, moist taste yet non-flaky texture.
Does catfish taste good?
For a good-tasting catfish, certain standards have to be met. Is Catfish cooked well? If yes, then it will taste good. Firstly, the species of Catfish defines what it will taste like, secondly, where it was brought up, and thirdly, how it was cooked. Under ideal conditions, a catfish tastes good to the taste buds, and the high rising demand of catfish in the market is a clear sign that the taste of Catfish is satisfying enough to keep the market rolling.
How to cook Catfish?
- When it comes to the remarkable taste of Catfish, the way it is cooked is considered as important as picking the right catfish meat from the market. Some people like the muddy taste, while for others, it is an annoying aspect of catfish.
- Depending on preferences, there are several recipes to cook Catfish. Mostly, people try to soak catfish meat in various marinating mixtures before cooking it.
- So, the very first step in cooking a catfish is soaking its meat in a mixture of baking soda, salt, and water or simply soaking it overnight in milk to kill the muddy aroma.
- Then comes the step of washing the meat and draining it to remove excess water, making the meat ready to be cooked. Catfish meat can be boiled, steamed, broiled, fried, or baked as per choice.
- But it is mostly fried as a fillet or crispy fish fingers. One thing which should be taken into account while cooking catfish meat is to avoid overcooking as it will ruin the taste and texture.
Catfish is a healthy addition to any meal as it is low in calories and contains protein that provides the body with vitamins and minerals which are important for the inefficient running of our metabolism. It is also rich in heart-friendly omega 3 fats and vitamin B12. Catfish can be deep-fried and or can be baked or broiled as well by using different cooking methods. Unlike other fish, it is easy to cook and does not get overcooked in a quick period. To get a deep-fried type of dish, catfish is first coated with cornmeal and then it is fried in oil.
To avoid its muddy taste following tips can be taken:
- The reddish streak of meat going through the filet is often tasted muddy and ought to be removed before baking or cooking.
- 2-For newly got catfish, allow it to bleed out after removing the tail fins by using a sharp knife and right after put it straight over the ice.
- While cleaning the fish keep the slime off the fillets.
- The 4-In final step for making it mud-free to absorb the filets in a bowl of saltwater or soda overnight.
Serving ideas for Catfish:
Catfish meat is served with various sauces and toppings. In most of the regions, Catfish meat is fried just like a chicken fillet. To keep calories low, nowadays, steamed catfish meat is preferred, or it is eaten boiled, nicely packed in a sandwich to enrich the taste buds up to the mark.
As various aspects of having a catfish as a tasty meat treat are discussed, focusing on the species up to the method of cooking a catfish, now is the time to try a catfish to know how it will pleasure one's taste buds. Whatever one experience depends largely on what one opts for one's self, and in the process of choosing for one's self, each and everything should be considered in all aspects to get the most of it to the utter satisfaction. This is the very art of enjoying whatever one does in life.
Hundreds of species of catfish, especially of genus Corydoras are considered the most popular component for many aquariums, which are known as Cory’s. Other species of catfish, including banjo catfish, sucker-mouth catfish, long whiskered catfish, and talking catfish, are also found in the aquarium trade.
Catfish are inexpensive and raised in a warm environment and are safe and fully nutritious for local grocers, as we have discussed above. In Florida, the most popular catfish is channel catfish, and the second one is white catfish.The United States generates 46% of catfish from total aquaculture production. In the UK, the value of catfish reached 425 million dollars in 2003. In accord with acreage, Mississippi has reported the greatest value of catfish of approximately 243 million dollars in 2003