We didn't need much in the way of shopping this week so after Pat's stint in the bookshop yesterday we met up at Auchan. They had a huge tank of lampreys and we stopped to admire the squirming, writhing fish.
Lampreys are vampire fish. They live in salt water, but spawn in freshwater, and they have a long, eel-like body. They lurk, waiting for another fish to swim by, then attach themselves by their toothy mouths and suck the juices out of their prey. (Other species of lamprey do not feed at all as adults, living off the reserves they built up as silt-feeding larvae.) They're quite a local delicacy, and I was surprised how big they are.
"Yes." (two ladies had stopped to chat with us and give us their favourite lamprey recipes)
"To prepare them you buy them live, then what I do, I attach them with a hook through the mouth - watch out for the teeth - then open up the tail and bleed them into a container.
Then you gut them and cut them into handsome pieces and cook them slowly in red wine with some chopped leeks. when they are almost ready, stir in the blood. Lamproie à la bordelaise."
"I use white wine."
"Yes, but the same method."
We bought some fish fingers.
La recette de la lamproie à la bordelaise par thelma-productions