As a kid in Wisconsin, my friends and I regarded carp as a “garbage fish”: an unwelcome invader, literally to be tossed into the woods to die after being caught. Turns out you can eat the damn things, according to the Guardian. (All of Asia, and anyone who eats old-school gefilte fish, might have known this, too.)
Migrants to Britain brought with them a taste for the fish, and now locals are getting into the act, farm-raising organic carp and distributing to newly interested pubs and restaurants.
‘There’s great interest in the fish,’ said [carp farmer] Jimmie [Hepburn]. ‘The truth is that we have forgotten how to eat fish like carp. In medieval times they were very popular. Now they are usually grown to huge proportions for anglers who take a photo of them and throw them back. Hardly anyone thinks of them as food.’
Another interesting angle on the fish’s growing popularity: Hearty, quick-growing carp are known as the chickens of the fish world—they’ll eat just about anything. Also, carp populations are incredibly resilient, making them a renewable alternative to rapidly depleting stocks of popular fish such as cod, haddock, and salmon.