Here’s a word from a recent crossword puzzle, a word I had forgotten, if I ever knew: elver, a baby eel. Very young elvers are transparent, a fact I learned when I saw this photo that CC posted on her Crossword Corner blog.
As soon as I saw the picture, I thought of those cooked clear noodles known as glass or cellophane noodles. The handful of young eels looks exactly like the same to me. The noodles are made from a starch, often from mung beans or even sweet potatoes, as is the Korean variety called dangmyeon. I’ve never seen the word dangmyeon in a crossword and hope I never do.
An Asian restaurant that my husband and I frequented when we lived in LA featured clear bean thread noodles in several brothy soups and hot pot dishes. I couldn’t stand them then, and still can’t. Impossible to chew. Made me choke.
Give me pan-fried rice noodles, please. Unless the bean threads are dropped in hot oil, then they puff up, and add a nice crunch to salads.It crossed my mind that eating elvers(ewww) would probably be worse than eating those slippery noodles. But guess what? I came across this article and found out that elvers are considered a delicacy. Not only that, the paper, dated January 2019, seems happy that they’re back. The article itself is dated 2013, so it’s all a bit iffy, but maybe you can get some if you live in Great Britain. Or in Maine. Oh my, look at the price.
There’s quite a history about elver-eating, a learning moment for me gained by doing crosswords. And now I won’t forget the word elver.
I don’t mind eels
Except as meals.
And the way they feels.