One of the nightly specials was billed as “zander pike.” Bemused at the strange name, and curious about the true identity of this new menu item, I queried the waiter, “What kind of fish is zander pike, exactly?” The stammered reply was, “Um, it’s sort of like walleye, prepared with a special cream sauce.” Being suckers for any kind of well-prepared, fresh fish, we both ordered it.
Well, it was delicious! I initially presumed that zander was a misspelling and mispronunciation of Sander, the genus name for walleye (Sander vitreus), a popular food-fish native to the Great Lakes. In fact, I ate the fish think that it WAS walleye, which it certainly resembled in flesh and taste. Only when I returned home and did a Google search did I realize that zander is actually the common name for Sander lucioperca, a closely-related fish native to Europe that is sometimes called pike-perch.