Elvers at Wal-Mart
I'm told that Wal-Mart carries Elvers, baby glass eels, in tins (like sardines). We'll be stopping by the Wal-Mart in Puerto Vallarta in a couple of weeks and I'd like to get some. Can someone tell me the Spanish name for this, and any other information you think I should know? Thanks.
Look for *angulas*. The tins look just like sardine tins. This time of year, they're often stacked up on stands in the aisles (along with tinned sardines, mussels, and smoked oysters).
I don't know that these Wal-Mart angulas are the genuine article. They're extremely inexpensive and I've always been under the impression that angulas are anything but cheap.
Thank you, Cristina. I also have heard that they are a delicacy and consequently are on the expensive side. I assumed that those at Walmart would be genuine, but with the usual Walmart discount, but I'll get a couple of tins anyway and report back. Incidentally, thank you for telling me where in the store I might be able to find them.
Now for the environmentalist approach - anguillas are the babies of the Atlantic eel, and are getting near the endangered stage - very popular along the coasts of France, Spain and Portugal. So the "real thing" is very expensive. The surimi version is sorta close - same way the surimi versions of crab and lobster approximate those critters.
Meanwhile, I always have been suspect at restaurants in Iberia - and really cannot identify the little "eyes" which mark the real deal (although some surimi molders are suppose to have this in their product nowadays). Anything slim, white, fishy and served in hot oil and garlic may approximate anguillas.