A family of freshwater fish that includes the pike, pickerel and muskellunge. They all have long bodies, large mouths and ferocious-looking teeth. Pickerel are the smallest—generally weighing 2 to 3 pounds. Pike range from 4 to 10 pounds and the muskellunge (or muskie) averages from 10 to 30 pounds but can reach up to 60 pounds and 6 feet in length. The walleyed pike is not a pike but rather a perch. The pike family of fish is known for its lean, firm, lowfat (but bony) flesh. Although fished mainly for sport in the United States, they are imported from Canada and available fresh and frozen, either whole, filleted or in steaks. Pike can be cooked in almost any manner available. It's the fish traditionally used in France's fish quenelles, as well as the Jewish gefilte fish. See also fish.

From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

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