BREAM (Abramis), a fish of the Cyprinid family, characterized by a deep, strongly compressed body, with short dorsal and long anal fins, the latter with more than sixteen branched rays, and the small inferior mouth. There are two species in the British Isles, the common bream, A. brama, reaching a length of 2 ft. and a weight of 12 lb, and the white bream or bream flat, A. blicca, a smaller and, in most places, rarer species. Both occur in slow-running rivers, canals, ponds and reservoirs. Bream are usually despised for the table in England, but fish from large lakes, if well prepared, are by no means deserving of ostracism. In the days of medieval abbeys, when the provident Cistercian monks attached great importance to pond culture, they gave the first place to the tench and bream, the carp still being unknown in the greater part of Europe. At the present day, the poorer Jews in large English cities make a great consumption of bream - and other Cyprinids, most of them being imported alive from Holland and sold in the Jewish fish markets. In America the name bream is commonly given to the golden shiner minnow (Abramis chrysoleucus), to the pumpkin-seed sunfish (Eupomotis gibbosus), and to some kinds of porgy (Sparidae).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)