Carp and Catfish

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About
The freshwater carp family arose in east Europe and west Asia, and is now the largest family of fish on the planet. Some of the same characteristics that have made them so successful—the ability to tolerate stagnant water, low oxygen levels, and temperatures from just above freezing to 100°F/38°C—have also made them ideal candidates for aquaculture, which China pioneered three millennia ago. Carp themselves can reach 60 lb/30 kg or more, but are generally harvested between one and three years when they weigh a few pounds. They’re relatively bony fish, with a coarse texture and a low to moderate fat content.