2 Annotations

First Reading

Terry F  •  Link

Carp, a family of freshwater fish originating in Asia, were introduced to England from western Europe during the 13th century, when they were cultivated mainly by monks. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carp

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Carp is the most common "farmed fish" of its day. It is native to China, where it has been cultivated since the 7th Century BC.

Carps were brought to ancient Rome, but were spread throughout Europe and to England by monks between the 13th and 16th centuries. (They supplied monasteries with food for Fridays.)

Carp is particularly easy to raise, as it tolerates less than perfect water conditions, eats almost anything, and grows quickly.

Here's a contemporary recipe for stewing carp:

PERIOD: England, 17th century
SOURCE: The Whole Duty of a Woman: Or a Guide to the Female Sex, 1696
DESCRIPTION: How to stew fish in wine, onions, spices, & herbs:

Scrape off the Scale, make it clean with in and without,
save the Blood, and mingle it with a pint of Claret,
lay it in a stew-pan, with as much water and white-wine as will cover it,
sprinkle it over with beaten Cloves, Ginger, Nutmeg and sweet Herbs,
quarter in a large Onion,
put in about half a pound of Butter,
and when it boyls up, put in the Blood and Claret;
and when it is enough serve it up,
Garnishing with slices of Oranges and Greens.

And in this manner you may Dress a Breem, Barble, Salmon, Trout, Pike, or any not over large Fish.

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