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Holsteiner Karpfen

Raw materials/Variety/Race

The Holsteiner Karpfen PGI is a freshwater fish belonging to the species Cyprinus carpio, of the Cyprinidae family.

Method of working/Cultivation/Breeding

The fish are raised until they reach a weight of 1.5 kg, which is the minimum weight for the immersion in the consumption market. In Schleswig-Holstein there is still the widespread tradition of big carps, which weigh more than 2 kg each, a weight usually achieved at the end of the third or fourth vegetation period, generally during the summertime. The feeding is natural, composed of zooplankton, of nutritional substances on the bottom, etc. Only cereals and soy are added to the diet, used to balance and complete the protein-rich natural nourishment.

Aspect and Taste

The Holsteiner Karpfen PGI has a lengthened shape, with a medium weight of approximately 2.5 kg when sold. It has few scales, the meat has a light colour, is full, firm, and tender, it has little fat, a characteristic flavour and a natural scent.

Production Zone

The production area of the Holsteiner Karpfen PGI includes all fish farms located in the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein.


The Holsteiner Karpfen PGI is the result of a long-standing tradition. In fact, carp farming started in 1196 at Reinfeld (Holstein) in the Cistercian monastery of Reynevelde, to then spread out, especially towards southern Schleswig-Holstein. Initially, carp farming was only one of the economic activities of some agricultural companies, while today it represents the full or complementary commercial activity of 200 familyowned agricultural companies, covering roughly 200 hectares of fish farms.


Once cleaned, it is recommendable to cover the Holsteiner Karpfen PGI with a kitchen towel or with greaseproof paper and then replace it in the refrigerator, where it can be preserved for 24 hours at the most. It is excellent cooked as well as smoked. The typical dish obtained with the Holsteiner Karpfen PGI is the Karpfen Blau (blue carp), where the fish takes on a blue colour after a sauce is added, which is made of boiled vinegar with onions and laurel.


The product is sold as Holsteiner Karpfen PGI. It is marketed fresh, whole, cut in half, in more pieces or in fresh fillets; alternatively smoked both whole as well as single pieces.

Distinctive features

The Schleswig-Holstein is the northernmost part of Germany in which carps are found. The maritime climate characterising the area with low temperatures, associated with an injection of supplementary food, is the foundation for the slow growth of the Holsteiner Karpfen PGI. It thus develops lean meat with a light colour, full and firm, with a typical and natural flavour and scent.

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