One man's trash is another man's treasure, and for one British city this treasure if fit to feed the Queen.
- (Photo: Reuters/David Moir)
Gloucester is in the habit of feeding its monarchs one very unusual pie. Dating far back before the 1800's, Gloucester once served the royal family of England a delicious lamprey pie every Christmas.
Lampreys are eel-like sea creatures that are considered an endangered species in England. The jawless creatures have tooth-covered suction mouths that seem often to attach themselves to other fish, sucking out their insides.
While that may not seem like a palatable treat to most Americans as they are quite abundant in Michigan's Great Lakes, they are rare in England and considered a delicacy fit only for a queen. The original Christmas tradition was suspended in 1836 according to What's Cooking America, due to the costly expense.
However, in June, Queen Elizabeth will celebrate her 60th Anniversary, which has been titled the Diamond Jubilee and to honor the Queen, Gloucester has gone out of it's way to secure the slimy creature for one of it's infamous lamprey pies.
With lampreys considered an endangered species in England, the city made an inquiry to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, in Ann Arbor, Mich., to which they received a generous reply.
"We would prefer to send them truckloads of lamprey," commission spokesman Marc Gaden told the Detroit Free Press. Gadsen considered the sea creature a nuisance that posed a large threat to native fish in the area.
Thus happy to comply, the commission sent two pounds of frozen lamprey to Gloucester, which will be made into pie by May 4.
Of course some may just have the appetite of a Queen, and those curious to make their pie can use the following recipe, though some translation may be required. The recipe was extracted from Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books in 1429, by Austin Thomas.
The original recipe can be found below, as well as someone cooking it in a video:
Take a quyk lamprey, And lete him blode at the nauell, And lete him blode in an earthen potte; And scalde him with hey, and wassh him clene, and put him [on a spitte;] and sette the vessell with the blode vnder the lamprey while he rosteth, And kepe the licoure that droppeth oute of him; And then take oynons, and myce hem small, And put hem yn a vessell with wyne or water, And let hem parboyle right well; And then take awey the water, and put hem in a faire vessell; And then take pouder of Canell and wyne, And drawe hem thorgh a streynour, and cast [hit to] the oynons, and set ouer the fire, and lete hem boyle; And cast a litull vinegre and parcely there-to, and a litul peper; And then take the blode and the dropping of the lamprey, and cast thereto [& lete buille to-gedrys till it be a litell thykke, & cast thereto] pouder ginger, vynegre, salt, and a litull saffron; And whan the lamprey is rosted ynowe, ley him in a faire chargeour, And caste all the sauce apon him, And so serue him forth.