A name used to refer to several species of warm, freshwater fish that are commonly bred in commercial rearing ponds to be processed for food. Although, Tilapia is a freshwater fish, it is also found living in saltwater. They cannot survive in water less than 60°F. Tilapia grown in warmer waters will often reach a weight of 3 to 4 pounds, while the majority produced for food in commercial ponds will weigh approximately 2 pounds or more. Since they reproduce well and can be raised in controlled ponds, they can be processed faster, brought to market quicker and provide fresher meat than other varieties that require longer harvesting, processing and distribution time.
While the outer flesh may range in color from black with white shading to pinkish-red, the meat of this fish is white, firm in texture and mildly sweet in flavor, very similar to catfish. It can be prepared by baking, broiling, grilling, frying, poaching, or steaming.
Tilapia are raised in the U.S., middle east countries and South African areas where they are available in stores fresh or frozen as fillets or whole fish.