Above are pictures of my plate covered in jellied eels. I would love to tell you a romantic story about strolling along the Thames and being tempted by these beauties at a traditional stall. But I bought them at my local Sainsbury's supermarket. I wasn't sure what to do with the jelly, not being a fan, I scraped it off safely and into the bin! I ate these lovelies for you dear readers because:
Jellied eels are a traditional dish from London's East End that originated in the 18th century. In the East End there used to be lots of jellied eel and pie and mash shops, and although most did not survive into this century, a few are still going.
The Thames is a good habitat for eels. They were easy to catch locally, and it was easy to keep them alive in barrels for long enough to bring them to market, so the supply was easier than that of other kinds of fish. Because of this they were common, cheap and easily transportable.
I admit they do not look neither yummy nor moreish. But they are not that bad - I even bought more the other day. Second time around I liked them more and didn't feel sick at all!