"The thynnis and the thynnus are both heavy and nutritious; but the fish which is called the Acarnanian is sweet, very exciting, very nutritious, and easily secreted. The anchovy is heavy and indigestible, and the white kind is called the cobitis; and the hepsetus, a little fish, if of the same genus. "Of cartilaginous fish, the sea-cow is fleshy, but the shark is superior to that,—that kind, I mean, which is called the asterias. But the alopecias, or sea-fox, is in taste very like the land animal, from which circumstance, indeed, it has its name. The ray is a very delicate fish to the taste; but the stellated ray is tenderer still, and full of excellent juice; but the smooth ray is less wholesome for the stomach, and has an unpleasant smell. But the torpedo, which is hard of digestion, is in the parts below the head very tender, and good for the stomach, and, moreover, very digestible, but its other parts are not so; and the small ones are the best, especially when they are plain boiled. The rhine, which is one of th cartilaginous class, is very digestible and light; but those of the largest size are the most nutritious; and, as a general rule, [p. 562] all the cartilaginous fish are apt to create flatulence, and are fleshy, and difficult of digestion, and if they are eaten in any quantity, they are bad for the eyes. The cuttlefish, when boiled, is tender, palatable, and digestible, and also good for the stomach; but the juice which comes from it has the property of making the blood thin, and is apt to cause secretions by hemorrhoids. The squid is more digestible, and is nutritious, especially the small-sized one; but when boiled they are harder, and not palatable. The polypus promotes amativeness, but it is hard and indigestible; and those of the largest size are the most nutritious, and when they are much boiled, they have a tendency to fill the stomach with liquid, and they bind the bowels. And Alexis, in his Pamphila, points out the useful properties of the polypus, speaking as follows,—
But if you are in love, O Cteson,“The pelamys also is very nutritious and heavy, it is also diuretic, and very indigestible; but when cured like the callubium, it is quite as good for the stomach, and it has a tendency to make the blood thin; and the large kind is called the synodontis. The sea-swallow, or chelidonias, is also something like the pelamys, but harder; and the chelidon is like the polypus, and emits juice which purifies the complexion, and stirs up the blood. The orcynus is a fish who delights in the mud; and the larger kind is like the chelidonias in hardness, but the lower part of its abdomen and its collar-bone are palatable and tender; but those which are called costæ, when cured and salted, are a middling fish. The xanthias has rather a strong smell, and is tenderer than the orcynus.” These are the statements of Diphilus.
What is more useful than these fish I bring?
Ceryces, cockles, (onions too, are here,)
The mighty polypus, and good-sized turbot.