In Germany the freshwater eel, Anguilla anguilla, is regarded with reverence. The Germans love it smoked – ‘eating them with their fingers like sweet corn, the juice running down their chins,’ as Michael Brown describes it in his thoroughly engaging eel-catching memoir.
The eel’s undeniable drawback is its looks. But what it lacks in glamour it makes up for – many times over, in my partisan view – with the mystery and wonder of its habits and its excellence as food. Some years ago I wrote my own celebration of it, called