News - Litão, a delicacy

Litão

The common name in Portuguese is "Leitão" but in Olhão we call it Litão.
In English is denominated blackmouth catshark, in French chien espagnol and in Spanish, pintarroja bocanegra.

It is a small shark-like shark that spreads across the Mediterranean and Eastern Atlantic from the Faroe Islands to southern Senegal, including the archipelagos of Madeira and the Canary Islands.

It is a kind of depth that is caught by trawling the bottom or with hooks, between 200 and 500 or more meters.

The fish is usually open, passed through a little salt and put to dry in the sun for 4 or more days (radiation dependent). It is then stored for a few months until it is consumed.
Dry skin was formerly used for sandpaper.

Before being consumed it has to be soaked for about 1 day.

This fish has little commercial value but, since it can be preserved by drying for later consumption, the poorer Olhanians began to use it for times of shortage, usually in winter, and especially in Chrismas Dinner, replacing cod.

Today, it is a more expensive delicacy than cod (about 60 € / kg), serving to cook (Olhão-style litter) or to accompany with white beans (feijoada de litão).

 It is also consumed in Tavira and in some areas of Spain.