The other day a customer told me about a fish. He was very pleased that he new about a species we didn’t sell and even spelt it’s name to me. He explained where it was caught, its life history and what it tasted like; the subject had arose as he had eaten it recently in a pub in
. Off he went smug in the fact that he had spread his knowledge. The fish in question was a zander (z a n d e r) and contrary to popular belief is NOT a cross between a pike and a perch. Just so happened I knew an awful lot about this fish as in the early part of this decade I was involved in an extensive zander culling exercises undertaken on the canal networks of central Kent . Not since pre ice age was the zander indigenous to the England . It was re introduced illegally in the 1950s into the Great Ouse and then spread across the linked waterways of the midlands and can now be found as far south as the River Thames. They are a pretty destructive predatorial species that not only seem to hunt in packs but also, due to impressive eye sight, succeed exceptionally well in coloured water; canals are an ideal environment. Over a 20 year period they have successfully depleted many indigenous species across the midlands and the south. UK
A couple of big Zander from the Trent & Mersey Canal (i'm looking young)
I have eaten this fish many times and it is not that bad. As it is a carnivore and not a benthic forager (like a carp) there is no real problem with muddy tastes. People will say it’s bony, but it only has a similar bone structure to a sea bass. The scales are particularly abrasive so I would suggest skinning the fillet.
Zander In Bacon Wrap With Caramelized Chicory On Carrot Puree Recipe