Iraq: Eating Masgouf

Masgouf is the national dish of iraq – it’s carp from Tigris or Euphrates rivers, butterflied and grilled in special clay ovens or open fire for 2-3 hours. Masgouf was eaten in Mesopotamia back in Sumerian and Akkadian times, thousands of years ago. We got lucky to witness the entire process from grabbing the live fish from a tank, gutting it, making a circle like flat butterfly out of it, seasoning it, and then grilling in in a special clamshell frame on coals for two hours. The fish is then served with onions, tomatoes and marinated vegetables. Unlike carp on Eastern Europe, these fish are much bigger and much fatter, the belly is almost like toro. Finger licking good!