Word of the Day - Thursday, May 20th

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SHAD (shad)

Any one of several species of food fishes of the herring family.

Common clues: Roe source; Caviar source; Herring's kin; Food fish; Migratory herring; Herring relative

Crossword puzzle frequency: 2 times a year

Frequency in English language: 70803 / 86800

The shads or river herrings comprise the genus Alosa, fishes related to herring in the family Clupeidae. They are distinct from others in that family by having a deeper body and spawning in rivers. The several species frequent different areas on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean and in the Mediterranean Sea. The shad fry live for a year or two in fresh water.

The American or Atlantic Shad (A. sapidissima) is a valued food fish. It was especially important in earlier times, however many of the rivers where it was common now suffer from pollution. Traditionally it was caught along with salmon in set nets which were suspended from poles driven into the river bed reasonably close to shore in tidal water. It weighs between 3 and 8 pounds and has a delicate flavour when cooked. Though bony, it is worth the effort, and indeed many esteem it above the famous Atlantic salmon. It is considered flavourful enough to not require sauces, herbs or spices. It can be boiled, filleted and fried in butter or baked. Traditionally a little vinegar is sprinkled over it on the plate.

There are a few land-locked varieties, one from Killarney in Ireland and two from lakes in northern Italy. There are also species native to the Black Sea and Caspian Sea.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Shad".