John Dory is a delicious fish, not a person

While dining at Manresa last night, I started wondering why the fish formerly called St. Pierre is now being called John Dory. If I recall, back in the 90’s, it was almost exclusively called St. Pierre. I haven’t seen a single menu refer to the fish as St. Pierre in over 5 years.

I did a little research and found out that this fish has the Latin name Zeus faber and that one of its common names is St. Pierre (or St. Peter). From this site:

This name refers to the “thumbprint” on the side of the fish supposedly left by St Peter when he caught the fish.

Also from

La légende dit que Saint-Pierre, premier évêque de la chrétienté, attrapa un jour le poisson sur l’ordre du Christ pour retirer de sa bouche une pièce d’or. L’empreinte de son pouce est demeurée et s’est perpétuée de génération en génération et le poisson porte toujours un gros point noir sur ses flancs! C’est ce que raconte la bible mais la mer de Galilée n’est pas l’habitat de ce poisson.

OK, I’ve heard that story before, so who is John Dory? Did he discover it?

So after some digging, John Dory is not a man, it is the French « Jaune Dorée » meaning golden yellow. John Dory, is simply the English version of Jaune Dorée. So they are both common names for the same fish.

But, the question still remains, why do people use John Dory more today than St. Pierre?

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