Gilt-head Seabream

LAT Sparus aurata
FRA Dorade Royale
ITA Orata
ESP Dorada
GER Goldbrasse

A Classic of Mediterranean Cuisine

The gilt-head bream, particularly in the Mediterranean region, is considered one of the finest edible fish. Its white flesh is aromatic, juicy, and tender. Gilt-head bream is especially recommended for preparation as a whole in the oven or on the grill. The roasting aromas bring out its flavor beautifully, leaving the meat wonderfully juicy.

Good to know: The brighter the golden band on its head shines, the fresher the gilt-head bream.

The majority of available gilt-head bream comes from aquaculture in the Mediterranean. While they don’t reach the same quality as wild-caught fish, they are characterized by softer and fattier flesh with a one-dimensional flavor profile.


All year round

Interesting to Know

The gilt-head bream is primarily found in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, from the Canary Islands to Great Britain, where it tends to be solitary and active during the day. It prefers coastal areas with sandy, gravelly, and rocky substrates at depths of up to 150 meters. Its diet mainly consists of snails, mussels, and various crustaceans, which the gilt-head bream can crack open with its sharp teeth and strong jaws. Additionally, smaller fish or cephalopods such as cuttlefish or squid are also hunted.

Large specimens can weigh up to 2.5 kg and reach a length of 70 cm, although those available in the market are typically smaller. Interestingly, the hermaphroditic gilt-head bream is initially male in the first two years at a length of approximately 20 to 30 cm, then transitions to female. The spawning season occurs between June and November, depending on the population.

Fisheries and Sustainability

Gilt-head bream is primarily caught using longlines, set nets, or trawl nets.

The stocks of gilt-head bream are not systematically recorded but are generally considered stable. Since the data is uncertain, the fishing method and the size of the caught fish are of great importance. The size of the landed fish can provide information about the population structure. For instance, the capture of mainly small, non-reproductive fish could be an indicator of overfishing.