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Karpfen Blau
"Carp blue"

Beef Schaschlik

This is a traditional dish to serve on New Years Eve, for good luck.
More about this tradition here.


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1 carp (weight 1500 to 2000 grams or 3 - 4 lbs)
In the United Sates it is easier to find Trout, which works well with this dish.
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup white wine
1 1/2 cup water
1 onion
1 laurel leaf
1 tablespoon pepper
1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon butter

for garnish:
one tomato
half a lemon
1 tablespoon horse-radish

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Seafood on New Years Eve

Seafood for dinner (evening meal) on New Year's Eve has been a long-standing tradition. Particularly popular is the New Year Eve Carp ( Silvesterkarpfen ). The carp can be baked, pan-fried, grilled, or smoked. Other seafood, such as trout, salmon, crab, sturgeon, eel, lobster, crayfish, and oysters, are also favorites on New Year's Eve. It is not really known how this tradition started. However, one theory is that people wanted to cut their caloric intact after all the Christmas celebrations and food, so they chose less fattening food, seafood, for their New Year's Eve celebration.
In the past, carp was always an expensive and hard to find fish. Because of this, it was greatly valued and a superstition evolved around it. It was believed that a fish scale from the carp hidden in one's wallet brought an abundance of money. The scale had to remain in the wallet the entire year and could not be removed. Likewise, scales hidden throughout the house brought this same abundance of money to the entire family. This custom is still followed today by many Germans.

courtesy of German Food Guide




"Carp blue" is one of the traditional Christmas and New Year's dishes in Germany. To achieve the blue color of the fish, it is important not to scale it. The combination of the scales of the fish skin with the vinegar causes the blue coloration.

1. If your fish is not cleaned when you buy it, carefully cut the underside and clean it. Salt the inside of the fish.

2. Place fish in a bowl. Heat the vinegar to a boil and pour over the fish. Then lay the carp onto a platter, saving the vinegar.

3. Heat wine, water and vinegar in a large pot. Peel onion and cut in half. Add the fish, as well as the laurel leaf, pepper and lemon. Put on low heat and let simmer for 20 minutes. Take out the carp and lay onto a preheated platter.

4. Melt butter and serve separately. Cut tomatoes in slices and garnish the carp with it. Fill the lemon half with the horseradish and lay on plate. You may serve cooked potatoes with this dish.


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Last updated November 4, 2012