What are my special features?
Windermere Char (Calvinus alpinus) has delicate pink flesh. Potted Char (spiced and covered with clarified butter) may occasionally be available in local restaurants, and fresh fish is usually grilled. The fishing season runs from March to September.
What is my history?
Part of the trout family it is also related to Arctic Char and is one of the few fish that can survive in deep cold inland lakes. One theory claims the Windermere Char was trapped in the Lake at the end of the Ice Age while others speculate it was introduced by Roman legionnaires.
In the UK Windermere Char is principally found in Lake Windermere in the Cumbrian Lake District. The Char has always been a rarity and in medieval times it was sent to the royal court in barrels, then later in the form of pies. From the 17th century, char was potted for transporting in pottery dishes, many of which are now antique collector items.
Why am I forgotten?
Overfishing led to a decline in the industry by the late 19th century. One local smokehouse used to offer smoked whole char but this is no longer available due to the ethics of fishing a product which is wild and has low levels of stocks.
Windermere Char is no longer commercially available due to low stocks.
Don’t lose me… Look out for me!