lane119, there is a short article by Calvin Trillin in The New Yorker of a few months back about snoek. Trillin, famous American glutton, wrote about a SA friend who turned him on to snoek years ago. If you’re American, you’ll enjoy it, I’m sure; he’s pretty amusing, imo. Trillin writes funny poetry, too.
PAP means the snoek is soft, and that’s bad. In fact, I believe that a famous Afrikaaner saying exists - something like ‘bad as pap snoek’ or something similar, only in Afrikaans - that’s used in the vernacular to indicate disgust with some thing. I obviously don’t speak Afrikaans; maybe Alleycat can help supply it here?
From what I got of it, snoek suffers the same connotation in SA as does carp in the US. Some people love it, others don’t. Like carp, imo, most of the bad rap snoek gets seems to come from where it feeds (bottom) rather than on just how that geography ‘ruins’ or influences its flavor.
Trillin wrote a very funny piece a few years back about hunting Cajun boudin* blanc in New York City, not finding it (basically), and having a friend in Louisiana ship it to him in NYC; ultimately I think he led a kind of consumer revolution in his neighborhood that culminated in a boudin joint opening there and Trillin being happy because he can now ship good boudin to his outta-the-nest daughter. If you have access to any back issues, you’d probably enjoy both articles.
*–It’s a sausage; like snoek, if improperly prepared boudin really, really sucks.