All mullet are called goatfish in the United States. These include 1) grey mullet (US: striped mullet), a silver, shoal-living fish pointed with dark grey, similar to a sea bass, which feeds on seaweed and plankton near the muddy bottom in estuaries and coastal waters, which can effect its flavour. However, a good grey mullet, caught in clean water, has creamy white flesh and good flavour. Varieties are found all over the world. The roe is used for taramasalata, botargo, boutargue and 2) red mullet/surmullet, a high quality fish of a different family from the other (grey) mullets, and which has a far better flavour and lean, firm flesh. Its liver is highly prized. Do not confuse it with gurnard, which has a slightly paler colour. This fish may vary from pinkish-reddish crimson to rosy pink in colour with golden streaks and two long barbels on the chin. Mullus barbatus is the smaller of the two and has yellowish stripes along each side. Mullus surmuletus is more properly known as surmullet and is larger.

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