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Eel special: 1. Elvers with 'Elver' Dave
Episode 415th August 2021 • The British Food History Podcast • Neil Buttery
00:00:00 00:37:02

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In part one of his three-part Eel Special, Neil focusses on eel fry – elvers, or glass eels – once a very important source of seasonal protein the south east and west of England. He visits a traditional elver fisherman to watch him haul in his catch and to find out why, paradoxically, to save this critically endangered species, we may have to eat it. Neil also looks at the ecologist who discovered that eel migrate back and forth to the Sargasso sea, the folklore surrounding elvers and provides some serving suggestions should you get your hands on some.

Useful things:

Elver Dave’s twitter handle: @elverdave

Life cycle of the European eel video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBRnNk_uo9Y

Neil’s blog post about the Eel Paradox: https://britishfoodhistory.com/2013/02/01/the-eel-paradox/

Elvers numbers are on the increase: https://www.sustainableeelgroup.org/endangered-elvers-have-made-a-dramatic-comeback-in-british-waters-following-a-year-of-perfect-conditions/

‘Elvers in the Gloucester Style’ recipe: https://britishfoodhistory.com/2013/02/10/elvers-in-the-gloucester-style/

The ‘Neil Cooks Grigson’ project. Will he ever complete it? https://neilcooksgrigson.com/


Also, don’t forget if you have any questions or queries about today’s episode, or indeed any episode, feel I missed something important, or have a question about the history of British food please email neil@britishfoodhistory.com, or find me on twitter @neilbuttery, or Instagram dr_neil_buttery.

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