Goldfish are to carp what chihuahuas are to wolves – a weird, malformed but slightly more people-friendly version of an animal, and one that only exists thanks to human-led breeding. And today’s modern goldfish are the direct result of more than a thousand years worth of domestication and breeding by Chinese fish masters.
Before we even get started: this is about goldfish the fish, not goldfish the fish-shaped crackers (the latter, by the way, are a 1958 Swiss creation). We promise this story is at least as interesting, if not quite as delicious.
The story of the goldfish begins in the Jin Dynasty, between the years 265 and 420. “China” consisted of much of today’s eastern regions, but petered out towards the west and north, where barbarians (and, presumably, dragons) ruled.