The tradititonal Czech Christmas meal is fried carp served with potato salad. And probably the most typical Czech Christmas tradition is how the carp makes it to the Christmas table. A few days before the Christmas Eve fishmongers pop out around the cities. The street fish stalls consists of several large tubs filled with live carps and water. The tradition is to purchase the carp alive, have a family pet for a few days in the bathtub until ready for cooking on December, 24. However, nowadays many people want the fishmongers on the street directly kill and prepare the carp for them.
Our art director Radostina is Bulgarian, and thus we had decided to prepare the traditional Czech Christmas meal for her. So, Adela and Radostina went together to the fish ponds close to Prague to buy a carp. But when Radostina saw the carp, that we right familiarly called Pepík, it was clear that the dinner would not take place. Willy-nilly, Adela had to go to the pond and the carp Pepík got a second chance. Now, he is happily swimming there together with the local ducks!
PS: According to the instructions of the fishmonger, you can let the carp out into some pond, because there the carp will survive. Do not let him out into the river or other running water.
Photo: Radostina Boseva for SOFFA magazine