Saturday, April 28, 2018

Eel - specialty 4000 euros per pound of Spain

Eat meat is good, sweet and high value should be very popular market. In Spain, the first batch eel sold for more than 4,000 euros per kg per year, but the first time they see you have to wonder why so expensive. The eel is small, transparent, full of grease, smooth and crawling like tiny snakes, making many people afraid to cry. When cooked, the baby eels turn white, opaque, soft as dead.

Origin of Spanish eel The mystery surrounding the eel lies in their life cycle, a fairytale story. They live in fresh water but can breathe through the skin and move to other places, eating anything that is dead or alive. Eels can live up to 10 years and swim along the waterways of European rivers to the Indian Ocean and somehow reach the Sargasso Sea, some 5,000 km from the original site. At a depth of over 500m, the habitat is ideal for living in shallow freshwater, spawning and dying, hatching eggs flowing into the Gulf stream towards Europe. It was a journey that lasted at least two years. When the eels return to the coast of Spain, the fishermen will catch them with netting. Eel harvest season begins in November, the best time is in the middle of the night, the night and the rain, when the waves are strong, the water is cloudy and sluggish.   In the past, there were stories of Spaniards bringing these expensive eels as food for chickens and pigs. According to Manolo González, a San Sebastian cuisine writer and Cofradía del Ajo y el Perejil secretary of the city: "When I was young, around the 1950s, 1960s, We eat a lot of eels at that time, and by the 1970s, famous Basque restaurants like Arzak started to cook them. " Currently, eel is not only scarce but also very "fashionable". This dish is still a lot of people looking for buy despite the price. "Monopoly always plays a big part in the gourmet world," González said. For example, 5,000 euros a bottle is too expensive for real quality, but for many it is worth the money to show the wealth. Recognizing that the eel does not have any special taste, González loves his crunchiness. For a gastronomist, on a special occasion, 80 euros for aperitif is not out of reach. Why are eels in Spain so expensive? Lots of fine food does not have eye-catching looks, what's important here is their taste. But even the taste is not special, but eel is expensive, up to 1,000 euros / kg. Spanish people also find it difficult to understand why so many people are willing to spend enough money to buy food, including Mike Randolph, a BBC Travel writer. As a journalist specializing in food and culture, Mile always finds the fascination of what he wants to find out. Just like the eel, it's special because of the traditional recipes, garlic, chili fried with olive oil and then added eel, which can enhance the flavor of the dish. . The market price is always high, but eel in the first annual catch is always the highest price. In 2016, the first batch weighs 1.25 kg sold for 5,500 euros, but the second batch weighs the equivalent of 1070 euros. Why is there such a difference in the two catches, whether the same buyer? Randolph went looking for José Gonzalo Hevia, the buyer of that year, and was the owner of the Casa Tista restaurant in Asturias (autonomous community in Spain) for a reason.   "It's a respect for fishermen, it's a bit of advertising for my restaurant," said Gonza Hevia, "It was a media event. The next day, my restaurant name appeared in newspapers, TV channels. " One particular thing Gonza Hevia was once was a fisherman catching eels. It is the widespread that the restaurant receives more guests. There are diners returning to the restaurant 20 to 30 times per eel. Randolph asked why this particular dish was Gonza Hevia: "It's the fish itself that's better than all else." But with Randolph it is not very special, when eating eel his son has slippery feeling and slightly brittle. Still wondering how many people paid a hefty sum to buy eels, Randolph went to Arima, a Basque restaurant in Madrid and talked to chef Rodrigo García Fonseca. Garcia Fonseca processed and served up to 3 kilograms of eel for just one week in January, also with traditional recipes. "I would not pay so much money to eat them," he said, "and they do not have a special taste or color, even a scent. The guests here have ordered to pay a kilogram of baby eels, the price is 500 euros. Many people have money and prefer to spend money. "

Another reason for the expensive eel is the dams, the natural habitat is being affected, and the number of fish is decreasing and they are on the danger list. Over-fishing also contributes to higher fish prices.

However, in the Basque region (mid-central Spain and southwestern France), the eel is a traditional Christmas Eve, New Year and San Sebastian on January 20 every year. So, on special holidays, eating eel is still a traditional custom. It's a culture and people want to be in it.

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