Food & Drinks

Jellied Eels: A Brief History of the Nutritious Delicacy

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Jellied Eels: A Brief History of the Nutritious Delicacy

Jellied eels, a traditional cockney dish for over 150 years this contraversial Victorian snack is a love it or hate it delicacy.

The gelatinous dish of boiled eel is enough to make even the most hardened omnivores nervous, but in the East End of London the inexpensve nutritious dish was once a stalwart of daily life.

Surpsingly to some, jellied eels have seen something of a resurgence in recent years, with jellied eel hitting supermarket shelves in the UK, a long way from their cockney roots. Read more here.

Learn how to cook eel with Japanese chef Seiji Yamamoto

How are Jellied eels prepared?
Making jellied can be more of an art than a science according to experts - but at its simplest its boiling chopped eels in water and vinegar and then adding lemon, nutmeg and other spices to make a fish stock. The stewing liquid becomes solid and forms a jelly-like substance when cooled.  

Other European countries also have a taste for jellied eels, in Denmark the dish is known as ål i gele, in France as aspic d'anguille, in Germany as Aal in Aspik, and in Poland as węgorz w galarecie.

Here's a fun whistlestop tour of the history and production of jellied eels in the  UK by the folk at Big Story:

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