'Post-angulismo': how to survive with substitutes in the christmas holidays

The over-exploitation and the fierce irruption of Japan in the market have made the fry of eel, a delicacy only within the reach of the pockets of more wealthy.

'Post-angulismo': how to survive with substitutes in the christmas holidays

The over-exploitation and the fierce irruption of Japan in the market have made the fry of eel, a delicacy only within the reach of the pockets of more wealthy. However, it is possible to evoke such a delicacy marine even with products from the mount

We come to that festive time of year in which we celebrate by eating and drinking things unusual, richer and generally more expensive than the usual, own that, of the parties, in this case christmas. In Madrid it was yesteryear time of enormous sea bream roasted, or legs and shoulders of lamb. For those of our generation was a time of a boccato di cardinale today only you can allow the presidents of multinational corporations: the eels to the pan. Or even in a salad, as in former times, and easier we also offered.

The disappearance of the baby, or its reduction to stay with the beluga caviar in the chapter of the delights available in quantities infinitesimal and astronomical prices (up to 1,000 euros per kilo of angulas), it is something that is shocking to the generation that, until well into the 80's of the last century, was still able to enjoy them. Never at reduced prices, but it is quite affordable by then.

it Was normal to stop at the historic Guría street Gardens to sample a casserole respectable -then 150 grams or more, that it was a time of bonanza, or even afford, after accompanying a sick person or a mother giving birth in the Hospital St. Francis of Assisi, in front of the old don't-Do, crossing quickly to the original home of meals From the Riva street Nielfa to replenish forces, with your salad very fresh of crispy elvers. This chronicler keeps well alive both memories...

The elvers, or juvenile eels, it was appreciated above all in the Basque Country and the southwest of France (pibale, there), although it is already known that traverses thousands of miles through the seas to the Sargasso sea. Sea flavour is very faint, but its great virtue is in the texture: elastic, just slightly crispy, and poking at it with tongue and teeth. The genius culinary guipuzcoana was the frying of garlic, finished off with the spicy chilly slices, which brought all the flavor to complete this texture. The own angulas just heated a minutito at the end, with garlic and chillies above, in the canonical casserole dish.

The over-exploitation and also a brand new and fierce competition, the Japan by the eels live -that end up raising there for your consumption as adult eels - slashed the catches in the Basque Country, Galicia and Andalusia. And the same company that in the 70's had centralized the trade, Angulas Aguinaga, avoided bankruptcy taking with them just from Japan the ancient technique of surimi, the fish paste that today are under so many forms in this era of the substitute, such as the famous crab sticks. Aguinaga made his surimi with pollack, stretched as an eels and launched in 1991, the well-known Gula, the competition pulled out then the other versions, under brands such as Anguriñas.

This clever solution industrial tempers nostalgia but, of course, is not a substitute for the genuine angula: the flexible texture, that glimmer mill skeleton, it may not be play back a strip of surimi. But a good use of extra virgin olive oil, purple garlic and chilli pepper native to mature and properly dried -by the way: every day more difficult to find in many fruit shops, at least in Madrid - resolved well-all part of the flavor.

it is Not the surimi the only alternative to today's prohibitive fry, and to bring us to our humor, party animal, go to the other three, that are not unique.

The cheapest: the humble spaghetti or noodle. Yes, do not laugh. Effectively contributes nothing of that mild ocean flavor to the surimi yes it has, but it can be tasty when, little done -al dente, that is your best texture - dress at the end with the same rehash and pepper to the eel. So were the spaghetti piccanti raging in the past in Casa Gades, the restaurant's Italian or italianate that founded the great flamenco artist of the same surname.

The more tasty: our traditional gambas al ajillo, which virtually reproduced the technique of elvers, with a very brief cooking of the crustacean, which in this case brings so much taste as texture, while the garlic makes it very crispy, and the chilli comes to the taste of the consumer. Here, of course, the hiccup is once again the of the substitute our every day, in this case those king prawns or prawns that come frozen from Ecuador, Madagascar, and who knows where else. Let us make the effort, that come the holidays: between 30 and 40 euros per kilo, the genuine white prawns of our southwest worth.

And finally, the alternative and perhaps more adequate and faithful, even in nothing marinera: let us not forget, now that they are in full season -a large supermarket chain has just on sale this week-, of the eels of the mountain, which is the popular name, and not by chance, of a setita wild, Cantharellus lutescens, premium delicate, elongated, thin and multi-colored -yellow and black - of the chanterelles and trumpets of death.

The angula de monte, known to fungus but reproduces in some measure the elasticity pleasant to the juvenile eel. And prepared as the true eels can be delicious. Yes, must cook well -just wash it and warm it in its own moisture, until the cooking water to reabsorb or evaporate - and then add the frying sauce and the chillies that will prepare you apart. And we have been happily released from the sea to the mountain, easing the way that nostalgia that some, who are talluditos, we are still experiencing 30 years later.

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Date Of Update: 08 December 2018, 08:01

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