A Parasite Pie Fit For A Queen's Diamond Jubilee | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

A Parasite Pie Fit For A Queen's Diamond Jubilee

Play associated audio

From our "How To Do Everything" podcast:

Among the many gifts Queen Elizabeth II will receive for her Diamond Jubilee is a special lamprey pie from the town of Gloucester. It's a tradition dating back centuries. Lampreys may seem like an odd gift for a monarch, but one person's eel-like parasite which sucks the blood of fish is another person's delicacy.

The bloodsuckers used to be plentiful in Gloucester, but years of overfishing and habitat destruction means their population is now scarce. Here in the Great Lakes region of the United States, we have the opposite problem.

"It's an invasive fish that caused incredible havoc on the fishery," Mark Gaden of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission says.

We have too many lampreys. Gloucester has too few. So they asked if they could have some of ours for their special royal pie.

"Somebody actually replied, 'certainly, how many lorryloads would you like?'" Sarrah Macey of the Gloucester Folk Museum says. "And we had to kind of decline gracefully and say 'we literally just need enough to make one pie, thank you very much.'"

For Gaden, it was a two-birds-with-one-stone kind of a deal. He even presented the lampreys to Gloucester in a ceremony there last month. "We want to get rid of them. And so I was more than happy to provide. A couple less lamprey in the Great Lakes, but it's also fun to help them maintain their tradition."

About that photo at the top? We asked Gaden to send a couple lampreys to the Pleasant House Bakery here in Chicago, and they were happy to whip up a lamprey pie. It was surprisingly tasty. And, said owner and chef Art Jackson, "I'm feeling pretty royal right now."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

This Weekend, Navigate The Changing World Of 'Vikram Lall'

M.G. Vassanji's book, The In-Between World of Vikram Lall, wrestles with questions of identity in a story about a young Indian boy coming of age in 1950s Kenya, a time of great political unrest.
NPR

No Resume? Criminal Background? No Problem At This Yonkers Bakery

Social justice is part of the recipe at New York's Greyston Bakery. The firm, whose clients include Ben & Jerry's, hires locals whose legal status or work history might otherwise make them unhirable.
NPR

Senate Blocks Measures To Extend NSA Data Collection

The Senate worked late into the night but was not able to figure out what to do about expiring provisions in the Patriot Act that authorize the NSA's bulk collection of Americans' phone records.
NPR

The Future Of Cardiology Will Be Shown In 3-D

The Living Heart Project aims to create a detailed simulation of the human heart that doctors and engineers can use to test experimental treatments and interventions.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.