Conger Eel

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

conger eel Conger conger, a voracious fish of the Mediterranean and E. Atlantic with a close relation in the W. Atlantic, C. oceanicus. It may be up to 2 m (80") in length and is of variable colour, mostly grey or brownish.

The conger comes out to feed at night, hiding by day in rocky crevices, often close to the shore. It is the biggest and most terrifying fish which bathers may disturb if probing among inshore rocks; and is fierce enough to do battle with the redoubtable octopus, whose chief enemy it is. Since a large, old conger retains all these ferocious characteristics, it is curious that for Alice (in Wonderland) an old conger was the ‘drawling master, who came once a week to teach drawling, stretching, and fainting in coils’.