In what has become an annual tradition, Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib and
other City Hall officials served carp soup to the public on Prague’s Old
Town Square on Monday.
Originally the soup, which is part of the traditional Christmas meal, was intended for the homeless, but with growing interest from the public it became something of a social event with scores of people turning up to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere.
Carp soup and other Christmas specialties will also be served on Old Town Square on December 24 between 11am and 1pm and at the bottom end of Wenceslas Square at midday.
Fishermen in Třeboň, south Moravia say they expect a harvest of around 2,300 tonnes of fish this year. The ceremonial launch of three days of harvesting began on Friday morning at the largest Czech fish pond Rožmberk, which is near Třeboň. The town is the country’s most famous centre for the production of carp, which is traditionally eaten by Czechs for Christmas dinner. This volume of fish expected this year is regarded as average.
Scientists from the Faculty of Fisheries and Water Protection at the University of South Bohemia have successfully bred a new breed of carp – the most common fish in Czech rivers and ponds. The Amur Mirror Carp is the first new fish breed created in the Czech Republic in more than twenty years and as its name suggests, it is related to a carp living in the remote Amur River in Asia.
In this special Christmas programme on Radio Prague we are going to be looking at traditional Czech Christmas meals. Later on yours truly will be making his take on the classic Czech-style potato salad. But first, I am joined in the studio by Ladislav Provaan of the Gastronomy Museum, who is an expert in all things culinary.
Tanks of live carp are currently to be seen on streets around the Czech Republic, with some Czechs taking the traditional Christmas food home alive and others having them butchered on the spot. Not everybody approves of the custom and animal rights activists have been staging dramatic protests against a practice they regard as extremely cruel.
Vets are investigating massive losses of fish at two locations in central Bohemia. One incident happened at Mlázovice lake north of Prague where the locals found thousands of dead fish –amounting to approximately a ton -which are believed to have died due to a low concentration of oxygen and another 200 kg of fish was lost at the Rokytka stream in Prague where vets suspect a possible contamination of the water.