Carp is one of Eastern Europe's most prized freshwater fish. In the United States, it has never enjoyed the popularity it experiences from Bulgaria to Ukraine, probably because the American variety doesn't match the flavor or quality of its European cousin, where it is prepared in myriad ways -- fried, roasted, grilled and broiled. Carp takes a place of honor on the traditional Christmas Eve table of many countries, including the Polish wigilia
. When carp is mixed with other white fish, it becomes gefilte fish
, a favorite in Jewish cuisine.