The carp is a freshwater fish of ponds and sluggish rivers, popular in eastern Europe but originating in Asia. They are usually sold whole, although they can grow to an enormous size. They are inclined to be at their best in winter when the creamy-coloured, firm flesh tastes less muddy. Carp are served traditionally on Christmas Day in much of Eastern Europe but they are eaten in many parts of the world. They are a constituent of gefilte fish. The soft roes are very sought-after.

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