A little history of carps

A carpA carp | ©Piet Spaans / CC-BY-SA

What’s this?

The carp, here, comes from the ponds of Brenne (Central France). People fish it on winter.

We all know the stuffed carp, but there are other recipes, like the roasted carp.

In Brenne area, people eat this fish in rillettes, in smoked fillet or fried (with a paste made of beer)…

The little history

Carps for the gourmets!

French kings and noblemen ate carps since the Middle Ages!

It was a delicate and expensive meal. Since the end of the 14th century, we had recipes: the book Le Ménagier de Paris suggested a recipe à l'étouffée (″steamed″)…

In the beginning, the carp came from Touraine.

But when ponds started to appear in Brenne, in the Middle Ages, it was a big success!

But the carp was less and less highly rated. Almost forgotten! Just a simple French regional culinary speciality...

Smoked herrings and fresh fish

People ate plenty of fishes in the Middle Ages.

Because Lent (the fasting time) took place every Friday, at that time.

A time where meat and fat food were banished.

Not to mention all the religious celebrations throughout the year: so, in the end, people ate few meat…

But they didn’t eat fresh fish, of course not!

This was for the rich persons, who could pay a carriage to pick up fishes directly in the sea…

The poor had to eat smoked fishes, like herrings.

To eat fresh meal, there was nothing like the fresh water fish! So the carp became the fish number 1 in all Europe.