Ethical Eating

I'm Eating What?! Roasted Eel in a Can

Eel doesn't really look like any other fishy-type thing served at a sushi restaurant. But having it delivered warm and covered in that sweet eel sauce atop a dragon roll is quite different from attempting to eat it from a can.

The packaging looked innocent enough, and besides the eel, there wasn't much more than soy sauce, sugar, salt, and MSG. Once I took a can opener to the lid, I was confronted with a half-dozen of those slimy creatures -- spines intact.

Thankfully headless, tailless, and skinless, the orange-brown

slices curled ever so slightly, exposing every vertebrae. I said a

little prayer and plunged my fork

down, gingerly removing a flake of the glistening flesh. It was certainly drier, colder, and chewier than any version I'd had before, but -- thankfully -- it tasted nearly the same. Who should eat this? People in the middle of a hurricane who have cleared out their stash of canned food supplies and have nothing left but a tin of eel, a jar of mayo, and a box of gelatin.

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Riki Altman