Vobla (Rutilus caspicus), also termed the Caspian roach, is a species of cyprinid fish inhabiting the Caspian Sea and inflowing rivers. It is closely related to the common roach (Rutilus rutilus) and often considered its subspecies, Rutilus rutilus caspicus.
Salt-dried vobla is a common Russian meal or snack that goes well with beer. It is popular in many Russian households and beer restaurants.
The vobla has a typical size of 30-35 cm (max. published 45 cm) and a weight of 800 g (max. published 2000 g). It can be distinguished from its congeners in the Caspian Sea by the following characteristics:
- usually 42-44 scales along the lateral line
- dorsal fin usually with 9½ branched rays
- anal fin usually with 10½ branched rays
- rounded snout and subterminal mouth
- anal fins and pectoral pelvic are grey with dark margins
Vobla could be considered a raw fish, but, in fact, it is neither raw nor cooked, but rather salt-cured. It is soaked in brine for some days and then is thoroughly air-dried for another two, which in the end acts as a form of chemical cooking.
Local people prefer the vobla as pan-fried.
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- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2006). "Rutilus caspicus" in FishBase. April 2006 version.
- Rutilus rutilus caspicus (Jakowlew, 1870) www.caspianenvironment.org
- Freyhof, J. & Kottelat, M. (2008). "Rutilus caspicus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved April 2012.