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This culinary and natural history reveals the amazing life of the humble eel. Every European and American eel begins its life in the Sargasso Sea - a vast, weedy stretch of deep Atlantic waters between Bermuda and the Azores. Larval eels drift for up to three years until they reach the rivers of North America or Europe, where they mature and live as long as two decades before returning to the Sargasso to mate and die. They have never been bred successfully in captivity. Consulting fisherfolk, cooks and scientists, Schweid takes the reader on a global tour to reveal the economic and gastronomic importance of eel in such far-flung places as eastern North Carolina, Spain, Northern Ireland, England and Japan. While the rich but mild-tasting fish has virtually disappeared from US tables, over $2 billion worth of eel is still consumed in Europe and Asia each year. The book also includes recipes, both historic and contemporary, for preparing eel.
RICHARD SCHWEID literally grew up in the book business in Nashville, Tennessee, where his family operated the award-winning R. M. Mills Bookstore for many years. Now a resident of Barcelona, Spain, he is senior editor of the magazine Barcelona Metropoliton. His popular books include Catfish and the Delta: Confederate Fish Farming in the Mississippi Delta, Hot Peppers: The Story of Cajuns and Capsicum, and The Cockroach Papers: A Compendium of History and Lore.
Like McPhee, Schweid proves that, for those willing to look, behind the smallest of subjects may lurk a complex, far-reaching story. - Philadelphia Inquirer