Discussion in 'Food & Drink' started by Qcumber, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    Where can I taste young silurid fillets? I went to the Rybí Trh fish restaurant, and they only serve seafish and seashells. They don't serve any fresh water fish - something surprising for a landlocked country.
  2. stepan

    stepan Well-Known Member

  3. GlennInFlorida

    GlennInFlorida Well-Known Member

    This topic just brought to mind a restaurant in Atlanta about 40 years ago called the "Catfish King". All the fried catfish, hushpuppies, french fries, and house salad you could eat for $5.25 (if you didn't like catfish, you could get fried chicken) - yum!
  4. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    :) The silurid is a lot bigger than the catfish although it obviously belongs to the same family. The adult is well over 1m long.

    I have eaten American catfish in France. They were introduced by special US services after WWII, without our permission of course, and to what purpose? Their flesh is very fine. We cut off the head and the two pikes, gutted them, and skinned the rest of the body. After this preparation, my paternal grandmother rolled them in flour with salt and pepper, then fried them in butter with garlic and parsley. My maternal grandmother simmered them in olive oil, tomatoes, garlic and herbs. We tried various other recipes, but these two were the best.

    How do you cook them in your country? :)
  5. stepan

    stepan Well-Known Member

    Amercan catfish (the smaller ones are called Bullheads) can be very large. In fact, some grow to be over 5 feet long (1.5 meters).
  6. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    Interesting. I suppose there are several species for those brought in France don't seem to grow beyond 50cm. The silurid is completely different: it has an enormous head.
    Perhaps a Czech member of the forum will post a pic and give us its Czech name. :)
  7. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    :D Was it fried whole (gutted of course) or was it just the skinned tail that was fried?
  8. Ceit

    Ceit Well-Known Member

    Apparently the catfish family encompasses quite a number of species (or sub-species??). Wikipedia has this to say about size:

    And they say this about catfish as food:
    Did US soldiers really introduce American catfish in France? It sounds like the European ones can reach a respectable size too.
  9. stepan

    stepan Well-Known Member

    Since you mentioned "carp" above, I thought I'd tell you about my dad.

    He was a fisherman and loved fish. He would go carp fishing and we'd have carp once a week during fishing season. My mother also would freeze some and we'd have fried carp on Christmas Eve with potato salad. His favorite way of having carp is "Capr na cerno" with lekvar and raisons. I liked that. I wonder if you could make it with another fish or do you need the strong taste of carp to make it good.

    Oh yes - carp are about the boniest fish I have ever eaten, as opposed to catfish/bullheads where the entire spine comes off the meat very easily.
  10. GlennInFlorida

    GlennInFlorida Well-Known Member

    Just the filets - don't see much in the way of fish heads here. Some of our fish is even square, after all, look at the way McDonald's serves it. :wink:
  11. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    I was 6 in 1945, and witnessed the phenomenon the ensuing years. At first we didn't know what these creatures were. Then there were official announcements about their introduction. They were also declared edible.

    As they are very prolific, they proved soon a nuisance because they had no predator and ate a lot of small fry. They were also useful because they ate small rodents!

    Then, I must have been 10 by then, we were asked to catch the swarms of small catfish and to destroy them for fear they endangered the other species. Generally we caught them with scoop nets and let them die on the ground far from the river.

    I don't think the persons who introduced the American catfish in France were GIs (carrying them as pets in their pockets ? :lol: ). They must have belonged to a special corps.

    As we were also plagued by potato bugs, so far unknown, Americans were accused of having introduced them deliberately. My opinion is the bugs travelled uninvited in US forces shipments.

    To fight the bugs, we were equipped with cans filled with half a glass of petrol. We had to pick each larva, and drop it in the can. At the end of a half day, we burnt the contents of the can. Picking these larvae was a nightmare.

    The first time I visited the US, I saw these bugs in a family's garden, and all my memories from the afterwar came back.
  12. stepan

    stepan Well-Known Member

    I find it hard to believe that GI's brought the catfish to France, especially in their pockets - the fish could not live outside water. What reason would they have of transporting fish from the US to Europe.

    Like many species of animals that have crosssed the oceans, the catfish may have been introduced to France to curb another problem, like some species have been introduced to the US to kill other species and they had no natural enemies. Or they may have been inadvertantly transported on the bottom of ships, within fruit or with other food.
  13. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    Yes, this is what I said. :lol: So the only reasonable conclusion is that a special US agency was in charge of committing various deeds of this sort in Europe. Perhaps an experiment in a faraway foreign country with no dangerous consequence for the US.

    Whatever, my initial post was about the silurid, and I still hope a Czech member of the forum will tell us its name in Czech and a few thing about this fish. :)
  14. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    Another American conspiracy theory. :roll:
  15. Ceit

    Ceit Well-Known Member

    Freshwater bass were introduced to Spain for sport fishing. That's why I wondered if it was really catfish that Qcumber was talking about, but if he's sure, I can't question him. I don't even eat fish. I need a puking emoticon.
  16. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    Sova, I'm not interested in that for the moment. If you are Czech, would be so kind as to give us the Czech name of the silurid.
  17. eso

    eso Well-Known Member

    Well, Czech name for catfish is sumec. I don't know if silurid is catfish.

    Also, there are probably more types of catfish and I'm not sure if Czech breed is same as US.

    Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce you to... sumec:

  18. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member ... u=1&cntp=1 ... &item=2344
    SUMEC = silurid (Silurus glanis). Thanks a lot, Eso.
    As you can see, it is different from the
    catfish (Ictalurus melas)
    Size: 15 to 20 cm, up to 40 cm
    Weight: up to 1.5 kg.
    This is the one I saw after WWII. (1st picture)

    P.S. A different species: Ameuirus Nebulosus was brought from America in 1871 by an employee of the Compagnie Transatlantique. He gave them to the Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle of Paris. Later some escaped through the sewers, and colonized the river Seine.
  19. Zeisig

    Zeisig Well-Known Member

    The Czech name of this fish is Sumec velký (the big wels, der große Wels). It is mainly the trophy species, seldom on menus of the common Czech restaurants (to find them use the keywords "sumec" and "jídelní lístek" in Google). Besides sturgeons it is the biggest European freshwater fish.

    Some examples:

  20. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    A good comparative site. Thanks a lot, Zeisig.
    Yes, I know the fish is mainly prized as a trophy, and that only fillets from the very young are good.

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