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Eels

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  • doccia_vacha
    I ve decided I d like to become the SCA s foremost authority on eels and I m looking for resources. If you have a book in your library or have a website
    Message 1 of 10 , Jul 4, 2010
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      I've decided I'd like to become the SCA's foremost authority on eels and I'm looking for resources. If you have a book in your library or have a website bookmarked that in any way mentions eels I would be grateful if you could reference it here.

      I'm hoping to have an opportunity in the winter or spring to catch/fish/trap eels. I'm looking for artistic depictions or descriptions of catching eels in traps or with spears. So far I know of a few depictions of traps, but I do not know when eel spears came into use.

      I've located a few recipes for eel, so if I can catch a few I'll definitely be attempting and documenting a number of dishes.

      Finally, I'm looking for any references to the use of eel skin leather in the period. From what I understand it is a very fine and useful material in this age, but I don't know if eel leather was put to any purpose in the middle ages. I really hope eel skin was used, as if I have the eels already it should be short work to cure or tan the skins and make something lovely. I could use a good pair of shoes.

      Regards,

      Doccia mka Amy
    • Michael Hurley
      ... I don t have any information bookmarked, per se, but I do remember when my wife and I were on honeymoon early last year and visited Warwick Castle that the
      Message 2 of 10 , Jul 5, 2010
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        On Jul 4, 2010, at 3:55 PM, doccia_vacha wrote:
        > I've decided I'd like to become the SCA's foremost authority on eels
        > and I'm looking for resources. If you have a book in your library or
        > have a website bookmarked that in any way mentions eels I would be
        > grateful if you could reference it here.

        I don't have any information bookmarked, per se, but I do remember
        when my wife and I were on honeymoon early last year and visited
        Warwick Castle that the Mill House had eel traps around it's water
        wheel. The first mill house was built in the 14th century to grind the
        castle's grain. It was added onto in the 17th and 19th centuries,
        ultimately turning it into a water-powered generator room to electrify
        the castle. I'm afraid I don't remember when the eel traps were built
        (if they said at all), but considering the importance of eel to the
        English diet from ancient times, it's likely they were part of the
        original, medieval mill house. You might be able to find some useful
        information looking around for Warwick Castle.
        --
        Yours in Service,

        Owein ap Cai, Grey Niche, Gleann Abhann
      • Mary Llewellyn
        ... Here s Wikimedia s site on Eels in Heraldry : http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Eels_in_heraldry An eel is a secondary charge on one of the
        Message 3 of 10 , Jul 5, 2010
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          On Mon, Jul 5, 2010 at 7:54 AM, Michael Hurley <mephit@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          >
          > On Jul 4, 2010, at 3:55 PM, doccia_vacha wrote:
          > > I've decided I'd like to become the SCA's foremost authority on eels
          > > and I'm looking for resources. If you have a book in your library or
          > > have a website bookmarked that in any way mentions eels I would be
          > > grateful if you could reference it here.
          >

          Here's Wikimedia's site on "Eels in Heraldry":
          http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Eels_in_heraldry

          An eel is a secondary charge on one of the devices of the Orsini:
          http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Coats_of_arms_of_the_House_of_Orsini

          (Oddly, nobody in the SCA seems to have registered an eel as a charge
          -- now's your chance! :-) )

          Yours in service, good humor, and sincere admiration (I love this kind
          of abstrusity!),
          Adelicia di Rienzi
          Lyondemere, Caid
        • Mary Llewellyn
          ... Here s what Pliny has to say about eels:
          Message 4 of 10 , Jul 5, 2010
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            >> On Jul 4, 2010, at 3:55 PM, doccia_vacha wrote:
            >> > I've decided I'd like to become the SCA's foremost authority on eels
            >> > and I'm looking for resources. If you have a book in your library or
            >> > have a website bookmarked that in any way mentions eels I would be
            >> > grateful if you could reference it here.
            >>

            Here's what Pliny has to say about eels:

            http://books.google.com/books?id=v4BiAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA409&lpg=PA409&dq=pliny+eel&source=bl&ots=BwC0d8NHZv&sig=EOCb24mgaH_LPx7T8fW37KAlTD0&hl=en&ei=zmgyTIejDYnfnQervpT7Aw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBIQ6AEwAA

            (If this link doesn't work, do a Google search for "Pliny eels")

            Here's a partial quotation:

            "Eels live eight years; they are able to survive out of water as much
            as six days, when a north-east wind blows; but when the south wind
            prevails, not so many. In winter, they cannot live if they are in
            very shallow water, nor yet if the water is troubled. ... These
            animals seek their food at night; they are the only fish the bodies of
            which, when dead, do not float upon the surface."

            I didn't transcribe the footnotes, but they're worth looking at.

            Yours in service and love of research,
            Adelicia di Rienzi
            Lyondemere, Caid
          • Madame du Pont
            ... Bonjour Doccia, I cannot help much in documentation, but last year at Summer Hunt V (on Whidbey Island, WA, I went to the Hunt Guild persona development
            Message 5 of 10 , Jul 5, 2010
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              --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "doccia_vacha" <amyt@...> wrote:
              >
              > I've decided I'd like to become the SCA's foremost authority on eels and I'm looking for resources. If you have a book in your library or have a website bookmarked that in any way mentions eels I would be grateful if you could reference it here. ..............

              > Regards,
              > Doccia mka Amy
              >
              Bonjour Doccia,

              I cannot help much in documentation, but last year at Summer Hunt V (on Whidbey Island, WA, I went to the Hunt Guild persona development presentations. One lady was Welsh (cannot remember the century), but she made a replica (scaled down) of a woven eel trap. It was elongated and about 3 feet...they are normally 9 ft long and catch eel and any thing going up stream. It was very interesting. Eel was very common catch.

              Adieu,
              Madame du Pont
              Shire de Tymberhavene
              Kingdom d'An Tir
            • Brad Moore
              I haven t submitted it yet, but am in the process of submitting a device with eels on it. Je Reste, En Service au Reve, Nicolas L Anguille [Non-text
              Message 6 of 10 , Jul 5, 2010
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                I haven't submitted it yet, but am in the process of submitting a device with
                eels on it.

                Je Reste,
                En Service au Reve,
                Nicolas L'Anguille





                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Matthew Takeda
                ... Sadly for your plans, eelskin leather does not come from eels. It comes from the Pacific Hagfish, a jawless fish which is also known as the slime eel. The
                Message 7 of 10 , Jul 5, 2010
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                  At 06:39 AM 05-07-10, Doccia mka Amy wrote:
                  >Finally, I'm looking for any references to the use of eel skin
                  >leather in the period. From what I understand it is a very fine and
                  >useful material in this age, but I don't know if eel leather was put
                  >to any purpose in the middle ages. I really hope eel skin was used,
                  >as if I have the eels already it should be short work to cure or tan
                  >the skins and make something lovely. I could use a good pair of shoes.

                  Sadly for your plans, eelskin leather does not come from eels. It
                  comes from the Pacific Hagfish, a jawless fish which is also known as
                  the slime eel. The Pacific Hagfish lives in the mesopelagic to
                  abyssal Pacific ocean, near the ocean floor, so it is unlikely that
                  it was known in Europe in period.

                  Matthew Takeda
                  the JOAT
                • asackville@juno.com
                  Wow! I never knew that! Thanks for adding to my knowledge base. Not fond of eating eels, but appreciate them for the historical refrerrance. It s really
                  Message 8 of 10 , Jul 6, 2010
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                    Wow! I never knew that! Thanks for adding to my knowledge base. Not fond of eating eels, but appreciate them for the historical refrerrance. It's really valuable. That's why I ove this forumn so much. Wicked cool info.

                    Fionnaula

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                  • Kender
                    I just read this cookbook which has some recipes (redacted, with original sources listed) for eel. The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from France and Italy by Odile
                    Message 9 of 10 , Jul 6, 2010
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                      I just read this cookbook which has some recipes (redacted, with original sources listed) for eel.

                      The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from France and Italy
                      by Odile Redon, Francoise Sabban and Silvano Serventi, translated by Edward Schneider
                      ISBN-13: 978-0226706856
                      I think it is very reasonably priced on Amazon.

                      The book says that eel was highly valued, and the original recipes suggest other types of fish to use if eel is unavailable.

                      I have only had eel in sushi so I'm interested in trying some of these!
                      -Kunigunde
                    • Despair Bear
                      Mmmmmm........ Eel....... I know nothing other than they taste very very good. Luck to you and if you ever need a taster/tester I will be ready with knife fork
                      Message 10 of 10 , Jul 6, 2010
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                        Mmmmmm........ Eel....... I know nothing other than they taste very very good.
                        Luck to you and if you ever need a taster/tester I will be ready with knife fork
                        and napkin.


                        Godric






                        ________________________________
                        From: doccia_vacha <amyt@...>
                        To: Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Sun, July 4, 2010 1:55:12 PM
                        Subject: [Authentic_SCA] Eels


                        I've decided I'd like to become the SCA's foremost authority on eels and I'm
                        looking for resources. If you have a book in your library or have a website
                        bookmarked that in any way mentions eels I would be grateful if you could
                        reference it here.


                        I'm hoping to have an opportunity in the winter or spring to catch/fish/trap
                        eels. I'm looking for artistic depictions or descriptions of catching eels in
                        traps or with spears. So far I know of a few depictions of traps, but I do not
                        know when eel spears came into use.

                        I've located a few recipes for eel, so if I can catch a few I'll definitely be
                        attempting and documenting a number of dishes.

                        Finally, I'm looking for any references to the use of eel skin leather in the
                        period. From what I understand it is a very fine and useful material in this
                        age, but I don't know if eel leather was put to any purpose in the middle ages.
                        I really hope eel skin was used, as if I have the eels already it should be
                        short work to cure or tan the skins and make something lovely. I could use a
                        good pair of shoes.

                        Regards,

                        Doccia mka Amy







                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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