The Christmas Clash: Carp vs. Turkey!

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the show-down you have all been waiting for. The Christmas Cracker, the face-off between the Polish Christmas special, carp, and the Anglo-phonic favourite, turkey!

In the blue corner. the pride of Poland, the carp. Weighing in at 18 pounds (8 kilos), he doesn’t pack a big punch, but is a slippery customer and can wriggle his way out of trouble more often than not. In the red corner, we have the Western wonder, the turkey. Also weighing in at an of average 18 pounds, this means it’s going to be a closely fought contest. With 5 categories to fight for, we must have a winner today – so let’s get ready to cook up a feast!


Ding, ding, and the bell goes for round one. The two competitors are swinging hard, but the carp looks to have the upper hand (surely ‘fin’–ed.) early on. This round focuses on the freshness of the competitors. The carp traditionally has been kept fresh for as long as possible, with the fishy fighter being given the chance to maintain that ‘just-caught’ look. Thus pride of place in the bathroom is afforded to it, with it’s own private pool given in the bath. Meanwhile, the turkey tends to require freezing, and in reverse thawing takes most of Christmas Eve in order to be ready to cook for the Christmas meal. This round goes to the carp, as the turkey waddles back to his corner already battle weary.

“It looks fresh, but will I really want to eat it?”




However, it looks like the break has done wonders for the turkey and he’s back out ready to take on the carp again. The turkey has got his friends the chicken and the goose in his corner and they have been psyching him up for the second round, with presentation being the battle-ground. The carp is looking somewhat nervous, and rightly so. The turkey has come out with an all over golden brown colour and and strong shine. On the opposing side, the carp has entered in a batter covering. But wait… what’s this? Oh, bad news for the carp – there are some fish-bones sticking out of the side, and the judges are not going to look favourably on that. The turkey has taken the second round easily.

“Salivating yet?”




The taste test follows rapidly, and the carp looks like the setback in the last round is still preying on his mind. He is first to be tasted, but the fish is flat and a bit lifeless. The turkey meanwhile, has laid on quite a feast, with a number of options to tickle any palate. There’s white meat, dark meat, breast, leg and thigh and with the final accompanying touch of gravy over the top, the turkey is on a roll and has won two rounds in a row.

“Are you a leg or a breast man?”



Religious Adherence

With the possibility of winning the clash here, the turkey is understandably confident and is walking with quiet a swagger. However, all can change, as we approach the carp’s speciality round – religious adherence. In a country such as Poland, this was always going to be a decisive round, as any food involved in celebrating a religious holiday should naturally fall in line with the guidelines for most holy reckoning. Even as a ‘white meat’, the turkey was never going to have much opportunity here, and he retires early in order to prepare for the final, decisive round of the competition.

Jesus was a fish, as well as Lamb of God. Meat is devil food… on Fridays, and religious holidays at least.




And so we move onto the final round and with the scores tied at 2 rounds apiece. This makes for an exciting finale. This round will consider the adaptability of the two competitors to see how they can fit into the Christmas celebration as a whole. As food tends to play such an important part in the holiday season, you want your best cuisine to represent itself well. Carp has made a good showing here, it can be used as part of the main meal of Christmas, and can be considered to even feature as part of a fish starter or as an ingredient in a chowder or similar fish soup. However, the turkey comes out strong, and starts swinging. First off is the main Christmas meal, then it follows up with the possibility of re-use with the meal on the second day of Christmas, should a big enough turkey be used. And finally with the knockout blow, it launches it’s special weapon – leftovers! With potential for over 180 leftover recipes, including sandwiches, soups and stews, the turkey has won this round, and the clash overall. The level of adaptability shown has made it a winner overall, but only after a hard-fought battle.

December 25th, 8.00pm: “Anyone fancy a turkey sandwich?”



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14 thoughts on “The Christmas Clash: Carp vs. Turkey!

  1. Bartek says:

    A bit of both please…

  2. zarazek says:

    I’ll opt for the turkey, please. Even though I like fish, I think carp is a poor choice for Christmas dinner.

  3. island1 says:

    The Rumble in the Stomach?

  4. guest says:

    24th December = carp
    25th December = goose

    December 31 = Turkey


  5. scatts says:

    24th – Carp and the usual sidekicks (Mama’s place)
    25th – Turkey (Our place)
    26th – Another British style roast (Friend’s place)

    I’d rather eat sawdust than Carp. Any other fish would be fine but whoever chose that mud-sucking, bony, tasteless, ugly sack of slime to be Christmas dinner needs their head examining.

  6. Lon says:

    Well I will speak up for what was forgotten the, Christmas ham. Far superior to a fish or bird in my humble opinion.

    My stomach grumbles as I am stuck in Europe for another 3 nights waiting for flight back to California and my date with a ham and Christmas Mexican food.

    Merry Christmas.

  7. Steve says:

    So far, I’ve bought cod (which is just too nice and too expensive to turn out to be something called Greek-style Fish, as I fear it will be) and trout. Background discussion about carp faded into nothing, so I didn’t buy any.

    Buttered Turkey portions – raw, but ready for cooking in foil containers, were in LIDL yesterday. Small enough that there would be no leftovers for Turkey curry – didn’t you used to have that?

  8. Decoy says:

    I also enjoy a good Christmas ham! This year, I’ll be getting the best of both worlds:
    Wigilia in Poland with the usual Polish fare
    Christmas in Ireland with turkey and ham

    In Ireland, my family usually have a great meal of slices of turkey and ham with stuffing as the ‘filler’ in between.

    I’m getting hungry thinking about it already, and it’s a few days away yet…

  9. Kulfon says:

    Carp is a popular fish selection, mainly because of the years in the PRL (People’s Republic), when buying any other fish was incredibly hard.

    Due to the number of Carp available and their relatively low price, it became almost a universal staple of a Wigilia/Christmas Eve dinner.

    Carp isn’t really the tradition, it’s eating fish on Christmas eve (as meat is verboten on the 24th) that is!

    Besides, have a fish on the 24th, and on the 25th you can turkey or the not so kosher ham.

  10. Name says:

    8 kilo Carp? WTŻarówka? Any Carp above 1,5 kilo is full of fat and mud. If you want 3 kilo of Carp, buy two 1,5 kilo ones, not one big MotherŻarówka

  11. Lon says:

    Ham was excellent…. and good for another 2 days of lunch meals etc. Just looking at those carp pictures makes me want to retch… maybe that is a post new years hangover cure..more cheap fish…

  12. Nika says:

    Prefer Turkey… Unfortunately, my mum always prepares Carp for my dad… Polish tradition and all that… But I never eat it :) I don’t like the taste if mud in it… :)

  13. Yana says:

    Carp can be delicious! This year I went back to Poland for Christmas and my dad-in-law prepared carp the traditional way and I must say meat tasted sort of sweetish and was melting in my mouth (not a hint of muddy taste). I didn’t like the bones though, the tiny Y shaped ones.
    When I prepare Christmas dinner I tend to go for salmon or trout battered in a mixture of breadcrumbs and flour and then fried. Yum yum!
    Personally, I’m not a fan of turkey meat (I know, that’s sooo weird and not normal!) so carp wins for me :)

  14. anna says:

    To a fellow named scatts ” I’d rather eat sawdust than Carp. Any other fish would be fine but whoever chose that mud-sucking, bony, tasteless, ugly sack of slime to be Christmas dinner needs their head examining.”

    Turkey is dry and tasteless but I don`t like carp also .

    It is widely known that talking about tastes does not lead to anywhere , so it is pointless and quite useless subject to talk about .

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