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Sep 7, 2012 08:30 AM

Where can I find carp to make gefilte fish for Rosh Hashana?

Does anyone know where in Montreal I can find carp (and maybe pike and perch) to make gefilte fish? In the past, I got the fish from the kosher fishmonger on Saint-Viateur (between Parc and Jeanne Mance), but I haven't been too impressed by the quality, and the people in there have been nothing short of rude to me, to the point that I dread going back.

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  1. You can find all manner of ground fish at New Victoria on Victoria near Van Horne. Also, try their smoked salmon!

    1 Reply
    1. Theres a fish market in chinatown, on St. Laurent south of La Gauchetiere, below street level under the old Hong Kong House. They sell live carp.
      The fish market in the Swatow building sells white perch for cheap (though not yellow perch).
      I never saw pike for sale in a fish market. Would walleye or mullet be an acceptable substitute?

      1. I think they have some carp in the Chinese garden at the Jardin Botanique. They probably don't let you take it though.

        1. I'd actually recommend staying away from carp unless you cook the hell out of it. As the old joke goes: "What's the difference between a carp and a lawyer? One's a scum sucking, bottom dredging parasite and the other one's a fish."

          8 Replies
          1. re: eat2much

            Thanks for all the tips. I'll follow up and report back.

            As for eat2much's suggestion to stay away from carp, I'm not at all convinced. I've made gefilte fish with carp for many years (as did my grandmother and great-grandmother), and I've never found carp to be a problem.In fact, I think carp is quite a delicacy. Every time I made gefilte fish without carp, I thought they didn't come out as well. Maybe all that scum makes the difference in flavor, who knows?

            1. re: eat2much

              I thought carp is the traditional fish for gefilte?

              1. re: porker

                There are a million variations...I make a version found on epicurious which is more upscale calling for halibut and salmon. My late father used to regale us with the tale of the tapeworm his mother got from sampling an undercooked carp version (hence my personal aversion).

                1. re: eat2much

                  I think most freshwater fish pose parasite dangers - thus no bass or walleye sushi.
                  In one of my first forays into ceviche, I marinated fresh cubes of cod in lime juice. About 15 minutes later, I noticed quite a few inch long, white worms writhing in pain, coming outta the fish.
                  Put me off fresh cod for awhile....

                  1. re: porker

                    Wow. Scary. Has anyone ever been gefilte fishing? What are the best locations for catching gefilte fish?

                    1. re: foodlovergeneral

                      My brother has a friend, Asher Aaronivitch I think his name is. He caught a 40 pounder off the coast of Boro Park in Brooklyn.
                      You can see Asher and the catch here

                      1. re: porker

                        Whoa-that's a great catch. Did he use horseradish as bait? Or perhaps kishka.

                        1. re: foodlovergeneral

                          Apparently its a big secret and he ain't telling, but he always comes back smelling of schmaltz....