Yesterday was my birthday (21 over again), so I took the day off from impulsive my taxicab cab and went for a centennial collation.

Now London, England is a planetary seminar urban where it's likely to eat just nearly every sort of preparation agreed to man. So what did I have?

I plumped for time-honoured London fare: a Cockney pie and suspension mercantile establishment. For the uninitiated, that's a pie full up next to solid eels, accompanied by mashed potatoes and encircled by john barleycorn (otherwise known as gravy).

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It's what my Australian cousins would telephone a "floater and one".

You can kick in fear at the idea of ingestion eel - which is actually a tasty light-colored fish, instead like-minded the extremely prized hake, although rather narrower in the lintel. In reality consumption eel is honourably break compared near whichever of the menu that has graced London supper tables in the bygone. These include swan, turtle, porpoise, dolphinfish and fastening.

As the population of London change integrity during the Industrial Revolution, pie shops became in demand as one of the innovative double-quick foods. This was because impecunious people did not be in possession of their own gastronomic services and so relied on the enormous ovens of the burn houses not solitary for bread, but any hot substance. Wrapping that provisions in a pastry grip made for easier handling.

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Along with eels, oysters were past consumed in infinite quantities and regarded as "poor man's food". Since then, the timid oyster has reached the overhead esteem of foodie sustenance and now eels are also enjoying a improvement.

In historical times, eels used to go from the district London rivers. But now they are mostly caught on the Norfolk Broads, to the northwest eastside of London, and shipped crossed the North Sea to Holland to be processed, formerly arriving at their orthodox home: the old London pie and suspension shop.

Copyright 2006 Jon Michael and

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