This odd-looking, kite-shaped fish is also called a ray. The names are used interchangeably, though in some quarters the term "skate" is applied to the members of this species that are used for eating, while "ray" generally refers to those (like the electric ray and giant manta ray) that are fished for sport. Skates have winglike pectoral fins that undulate as the fish meanders along the ocean floor (there are also freshwater rays). The fins are the edible part of a skate. Their delicious flesh is firm, white and sweetnot unlike that of the scallop. Depending on the region, skate is available year-round. Like shark meat, skate must be soaked in acidulated water to remove its natural ammonia odor. Skate can be prepared in a variety of ways including poaching, baking and frying. See also fish.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.