Saturday, April 28, 2012

Fit for a Queen: Ugly Eel from Great Lakes to Be Baked in Pie for Queen's Jubilee

"Okay, I'm not very photogenic. But the Queen wants to eat me!"
A rather hideously ugly creature from the Great Lakes has received a Royal Command Performance from Queen Elizabeth II.

The creature, known as a sea lamprey, is actually quite the menace around the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada, but is considered something of a delicacy in the UK, where icky cuisine is the norm. The parasitic lamprey was once common in Great Britain, but is now on the endangered species list and is protected.

The city of Gloucester, which has given the pie as a gift to the monarch since the Middle Ages, made a request for the lamprey to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, which was only too happy to supply them with a case of the ugly beasts. The commission has already sent two pounds of the slimy eel taken from Lake Huron to the UK, where they will be baked into the archaic lamprey pie dish to help Queen Elizabeth celebrate her Diamond Jubilee, which will mark the 60th year of her monarchy.

Sarrah Maccey of the Gloucester Folk Museum says that she and a royally approved chef will bake the pie, and she is researching ancient local recipes. One traditional 15th-Century recipe calls for the lamprey to be cooked in a sauce of red wine, vinegar, cinnamon and its own blood, then baked in a thick, handmade crust. Yum!

The Queen is a real trooper of course, and will undoubtedly consume the "pie" with a pleasant smile on her face!

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