The image on the cover of Learning ASP.NET 3.5, Second Edition, is a monkfish
(Lophiuspis catorius). Europeans occasionally call the monkfish a sea monk, a kinder
term for a fish also known as a sea monster.
Although according to Seafood Watch, Americans concerned with sustainable living
practices should avoid eating the fish, the monkfish remains a popular dish among
consumers and chefs alike.
Chefs have come to appreciate the fish—often labeled the “poor man’s lobster”—for
its ability to absorb the flavor of accompanying broths and spices. While the fish is
only similar to the lobster in texture and not flavor, many chefs find it easier to
promote the fish under a name the public will recognize and not find intimidating.
Its large head, which is twice as wide as its tail, and enormous mouth filled with
sharp, pointy teeth give the monkfish a reputation for being one of the ugliest fish
around. Markets will usually sell the monkfish without its head, a precedent perhaps
set by France, where it had previously been illegal to bring monkfish into the country
with their heads attached, as the fish might frighten passersby.