A freshwater fish, carp is thought to have originated in China. It was introduced to Europe in the seventeenth century and to North America in the nineteenth.

The best season for eating carp is from November to the end of March.

All carp must be carefully cleaned, and the spleen, which lies behind the head, should be removed. The fish should be

washed in several changes of clean water, and finally in water and lemon juice -these repeated washings are necessary to

remove a muddy taste which the fish often has. If the fish is to be poached it is unnecessary to scale it, as the whole

skin is easily removed after cooking. Otherwise, the fish must be scaled.

The roe of the carp is a delicacy and can be cooked in butter and served separately.

Both the North Germans and the Poles traditionally eat carp on Christmas Eve. In Germany it is the custom not to scale the fish, however it is cooked, so that each person can take a scale from his portion to keep for good luck in the next year!

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