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Jellied Eels


Eels pieces cooked for approximately half an hour and cooled so as to form a jelly, sometimes with the assistance of gelatine. Often served with chilli vinegar.

Bowl of London Jellied Eels
Photo: www.eelhouse.co.uk


Occasionally encountered in a slightly more sophisticated form, such as...

Original Receipt in 'Mrs. Norton's cook-book; selecting, cooking, and serving for the home table' (1917)

Cold Jellied Eels

Skin and cut the eels into short pieces; put them into a pint of white wine with sliced onions, carrots, mushrooms, a few peas, and one diced potato. Season to taste and stew until the eels are done; remove from the fire, add a few thin slices of lemon and a teaspoon of minced parsley.

Turn into an oblong mold and set away to cool and jell; when ready to serve turn onto a platter and garnish with lemon and parsley.

Jellied Eels are still an East End of London delicacy, and closely associated with Pie and Mash.

Jellied Eels tend to be liked or loathed. It isn't dificult to see which side the poet Russell Green was on in this from the compendium 'Coterie' for May-Day 1919;

In Petticoat Lane by Aldgate East
On jellied eels I've seen them feast.
The mute dismembered corpses roll
Salted in an enamel bowl.
Behind his stall the huckster's loud
Bass 'cello voice compels the crowd,
Whose gaunt innumerable shoes
Shuffle along the foetid ooze.
And I knew that brick-bound sun must shine
On eels that swim in wider brine,
Where estuaries drain the sea
And agile Aldgate eels go free,
Where in pre-natal silence sleeps
The god of the everlasting deeps.
Where for ten thousand years the sails
Of ships before the summer gales
Trace the great circles of the seas
From Ophir to the Caribbees,
Till sails and ships and men are rotten,
Till years and seasons are forgotten,
Till all that lives is a dead motion
Of slow winds and a sombre ocean.

See: Eels

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