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Nothing says Christmas in Italy as much as live eels. In central and southern Italy, large eels lately swum from the Sargasso Sea called capitone are spitted and roasted over a fire on Christmas eve. In Florence, eels from the Po River are stewed with tomato and garlic to make anguilla alla comacchiese, or baked with garlic and sage in anguilla alla fiorentina. In Venice, where eels are called bisato, they’re sauteed in olive oil with bay leaf.
As you can see from the photo, live eels are available at Metropolitan Fish Market (635 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn) in Williamsburg. YouTube provides concise visual instruction as to how to prepare a live eel. And here’s an easy recipe for grilled or fried eel, Neapolitan style. So get busy!