Grouper is much more popular in Florida than it is here. (Indeed, there's been a scandal in Florida recently about whether restaurants are serving other fish under the grouper name.) But groupers are is commonly caught in Gulf waters, and shows up ever more frequently on local menus.
Groupers come in a number of species, some better than others. The one I've liked best is the Warsaw grouper, a rather large (as much as forty pounds) fish with enormous flakes. That's what I like about it. You can serve it one flake at a time. (I remember having a dish once in which flakes of grouper were alternated with slices of sea scallops.) Yellowfin grouper--a smaller fish--seems to be more common. That's probably what you have if you're served a fillet.
The color of cooked grouper is very white. That's one reason chefs like it: very white fish has enormous appeal to customers. As does another characteristic of the fish--its mild flavor. I find it a little too mild for my tastes, in fact, and whenever grouper comes my way I always marinate it a few minutes in olive oil, give it a good crusting of Creole seasoning, and either grill or broil it. More polite methods of preparation will result in a very subtly-flavored fish. But many people like that.
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