eel dishes

Baker, Mike mbaker at
Thu Dec 12 11:48:00 PST 1996

>> Why do I keep thinking of the Lady Tudor Glitz: "I know it's period, I
>> know you got it cheap, I know Her Majesty loves it, but I just can't
>> reconcile myself to eel!"
> I would like to try eel. It was apparently fairly common and was raised
> in mill ponds much as we raise catfish today. Has anyone every served
> it at an SCA feast?
>    Does anyone know where I can get eel (fresh or frozen) so I can try
> making a medieval eel dish?

Go "fish" for the critters! (Check fish&game laws first, but I seem to 
recall that in Oklahoma freshwater eel *may* be legit targets of netting.)

Just take care, they are particularly difficult to handle once caught (razor 
teeth, and the proverb / descriptive phrase about "slippery as an eel" is 
quite apt...) Even once killed, they are not an easy protein source to clean 
/ prepare for consumption.

Of course, there are commercial sources as well - check with a larger fish 
market, or the Oriental markets recently mentioned.

In my one (remembered) encounter with cooked eel, the subject was skinned, 
eviscerated, de-finned, decapitated, cut into two to three inch sections, 
rolled in a cornmeal/flour/spices mixture, and fried just like the perch 
filets, bass, and catfish also being prepared at the same time. I recall a 
*very* powerful fishy/oily taste that I didn't care for at the time. ("The 
time" being at least 30 years ago, IIRC...)

I am curious as to the modification that pickling or boiling "properly" 
might generate in the taste...

Amr ibn Majid al-Bakri al-Amra
     currently residing in Barony of the Steppes, Kingdom of Ansteorra
Mike C. Baker                      mbaker at
Any opinions expressed are obviously my own unless explicitly stated 

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