Friday, 5 June 2015

Just Try It Once!

Here's a cry heard up and down the land as mothers put something new to eat in front of their little darlings!  No matter that the normal reaction after the first mouthful is disgust.  Even so we persevere.

I was looking forward to leftover lamb curry yesterday for lunch but forgetfulness scuppered that plan.  So when hunger struck I strolled on over to Morrison's to see what took my fancy.  Now I was jolly surprised indeed to find these in the chilled fish section.  Despite being brought up by a cockney father and a childhood spent  in Southend-on-Sea where this traditional fare, can still be bought in the area,  I've never tried eels.  Back in the 1970s  there was a fishmonger in the High Street just under the railway bridge in the centre of town. There's a shot of the location from the 1930s below though the actual shop can't be seen. I wonder if it was there then.  I have vivid memories of the trays of the live beasties that used to gaze at us passers-by and open and shut  their mouths in a gummy way.  It was all a bit off putting.   Plus there's the jelly that I knew was a non starter already.  I'm not at all keen  when they overdo that stuff in a pork pie.

Nonetheless I decided to heed the advice that I give to Louis when I'm attempting to extend his palate. When I took the little pot back to the office, less intrepid food fanciers made no bones about expressing their distaste.  Good on my little mate Scary Secretary though. As least she partook of the pearly queen feast with me although I have to say her efforts were halfhearted.  She had a little bite and then gave her piece of eel back. Bless!

So what are they like?  Well I won't be rushing out to get some more anytime soon.  Or probably ever again in my lifetime if I'm honest. Even though the flesh wasn't bad, pleasantly strong tasting like sardine or whitebait, it came as no surprise that the jelly, as Lou would say, 'sgusting!'  The skin was thick and the vertebra in each piece was bothersome. Now those bones are traditionally spat out onto a sawdust floor which might have made the experience a bit more fun.  This seemed beyond behaviour  acceptable in a hospital office though and frankly not very ladylike.  It was a devil to know what to do with them.

So I'll stick with other fishy fayre from now on but it was good to try something new.  I might go off piste gastronomically again soon. You never know.  I might stumble upon something that's really delicious!


  1. I love jellied Eels. I think it's those bones that put people off, but I've never found them a problem.

  2. I eat most things, but wouldn't even try those!

  3. I have never had the nerve to try those, or raw oysters (though I love them cooked). Well done for trying.