Pike

The Attila of the rivers and ponds, according to Grimod de La Reynière, a pet for French king Charles IX who tamed one, calling it “Lupul” (from the old French language luz or “grand water wolf “). Pikes, when they are not sleeping in the Tuileries Royal Palace in Paris, are rather fond of the calm and fresh water of the ponds and rivers. Their light white meat, firm and leafy is associated to quenelles and the eponymous soufflés. It also could be just tasted with a side order of steamed potatoes masked with a white butter sauce. A usually home loving carnivorous fish, voracious and unscrupulous, even slurping occasionally its own offspring, the animal may live up to 30 years of age and weight over 44 pounds. In 1830, as the waters of the Rhone and Saone rivers were overpopulated with them, Charles Morateur, a master pastry chef, had the idea to integrate pike’s flesh in his cream puff paste: the Quenelle from Lyon was born!

A Gourmet's notebook