Christmas carp--The European Feast


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Ahh. . . . The Christmas Carp. . . Yummmm. . . .

It's almost Christmas and like most of you out there I can't wait for that most cherished of holiday traditions-the carving of the Christmas carp.

Yes, nothing makes the mouth water and gets me into the holiday mood until I see my wife come walking through that door with our fresh-live “holiday" carp.

Whether hand picked from the Three Mile island settling ponds, or homegrown from the depths of the “pristine" waters of Lake Michigan, it is always great to bring the little droopy lipped fellar home, toss him in the bathtub, and thump him on the head on Christmas morning to the squealing delights of the neighborhood kids. Then we deep fry him and chase him down with some delicious squawfish soup.

I know, I know, I am making you salivate just at the thought of all these tempting delights-but don't worry- soon enough you will be passing the carp platter around the table, praising Aunt Lou that this years carp -is the best ever- and asking her how she got that green glow to emit from it's carcass.

Festivally brilliant!!. . . . .

Here, in the U. S. , we obviously take a different view of the much maligned carp-but in many cultures the above scenario will actually take place.

Well, except for the glowing part.

In Europe, Asia and other parts of the world the carp is still a viable and very marketable fish. The same fish I have seen drop kicked, eschewed, and tossed aside like an old shoe, actually makes it's way to many a Christmas feast in other cultures. I just read a story today, about how the Czech Republic is worried that the carp market is being driven downward because of pressure from other fish, like salmon, as well as competition from poultry producers.

If you are an American, you are probably sitting there with your nose all crinkled up or have that horrified-I just saw Frankenstein- facial expression right now, and are more than ever convinced that Euros are one fish short of a full stringer. Or, you might be thinking about boxing up some nice freshly caught carpsuckers from your favorite trout stream, and sending them “Fed-Ex" to Ivan Howsaboutafish in Prague.

I am telling you-they would be welcome.

In Europe, they look at the carp and exclaim things like: “Look at that fish, it is magnificent. " or “The quality of the Czech carp cannot be compared to farm salmon. " or “Check out the lips on that baby. "-OK- I made the last one up- but as you can see they REALLY like carp.

So, in the Christmas spirit of giving, let's all get out there today and catch ourselves a “mess" of carp and get them sent to Europe, so they can have a joyous and carp filled feast.

Maybe if we're lucky, they will send us a bunch of Lutefisk in return!!

Now that's foreign relations. . . .

A. J. Klott writes on fishing and other humorous happenings in todays world. You can also find him peddling “fly tacks" on his website at:


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The Holidays: An Emotional Feast
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