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Eels, pie and mash

London has a long association with eels. Now very much considered East End grub, they used to be eaten all over the capital. In 1853, the Rev Dr Charles David Badham, a writer, physician and entomologist, wrote that “London, from one end to the other, teems and steams with eels, alive and stewed; turn where you will; hot eels are everywhere smoking away.”

In the early Middle Ages, rents were even paid with eels and eel pies. The elegant snake-like creatures were caught in eel-weirs made from wickerwork on the rivers Severn and Wye in Gloucestershire and in the East Anglian Fens. They were transported live to London in water barrels or by ships, to be sold in the two competing fish markets: Billingsgate and Queenhithe in Westminster, which was eclipsed over time and disappeared around the 15th century. Demand was so great that extra eels had to be imported from the Netherlands. Read more on www.missfoodwise.com
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Posted by Regula Ysewijn on November 28, 2014

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