They grow to be about 1 foot (30 cm) long, with large eyes. They live near Atlantic shore from Northern Europe down to Spain. They will eat just about anything they can, though they prefer shrimp. They live only 6 to 8 years.
Most Northern Europeans don’t consider them good eating, and so regard them as a nuisance fish because they travel in large schools and strip the bait off lines. If caught, they will be used as bait for other fish, or animal feed.
The French will eat Pouting, though. They feel that the flesh is tasty enough. In fact, in the 1950s in France, Pouting was an expensive fish.
Pouting must be eaten within 6 hours of catching it, because the taste goes downhill very quickly after that, and the day after it is caught, it tastes like a completely different fish, in a way that is a change for the worst.
The French flour Pouting and fry it, or steam it 15 minutes a side with some salted butter, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper, or poach it for 10 minutes. After poaching it, you sauté it in a frying pan with some butter and parsley, for 3 minutes a side.