Carp: What You Should Know

The carp is a species of fish that can be found in large parts of Europe today. Wild carp have elongated, flat body that has scales all over them. Their back is olive green and the belly is white to yellowish. It is popular as a food fish.

In the wild, carp are about 30 to 40 centimeters long. Some carp are even more than a meter long and then weigh more than 40 kilograms. The largest carp ever caught weighed around 52 kilograms and came from a lake in Hungary.

Carps live in freshwater, i.e. in lakes and rivers. They feel particularly comfortable in waters that are warm and flow slowly. That is why they are more likely to be found in river sections that lie in flat valleys. They also meet there to mate.

Carps feed mainly on small animals that they find at the bottom of the water. These include, for example, plankton, worms, insect larvae, and snails. Only a few carp are predatory fish, so they eat other, smaller fish.

The carp probably originally comes from the Black Sea. It then spread to Europe via the Danube and multiplied well. Today, however, it is endangered in these areas. In more western places, people have taken it themselves. Today it often threatens other fish species there.

What is the significance of carp for food culture?

Even in ancient times, the Romans reported carp fishing in Carnuntum, an ancient city in what is now Austria. At that time people also started to breed carp. This resulted in various breeding forms, which are now quite different from each other. Some of them have lost their scales, but they have become larger and thicker and grow even faster.

In the Middle Ages, carp were a popular dish in those days when the Catholic Church forbade eating meat. This was especially true during the 40 days of fasting before Easter. Then they switched to edible fish.

In breeding, the carp swim in artificially created ponds. In Poland and the Czech Republic, as well as in parts of Germany and Austria, carp are now eaten especially at Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

In Switzerland, on the other hand, little is known about the carp. He probably didn’t come to this country naturally either. Salmon that swam up the Rhine were more likely to be eaten here. Local trout were primarily used as farmed fish.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *