Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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elvers the young of eel, at the stage where they reach land after a journey of two or three years from the spawning ground where they began life as larvae. When they are still transparent they are called ‘glass’ eels, but have assumed the typical cylindrical shape of an adult eel. Elvers are the next stage in development, when they take on some pigmentation.

Elvers can be caught in vast quantities as they enter the rivers which they propose to ascend. Those caught may then be sent alive to waters far upstream, where they would not normally penetrate; or exported to another country or continent (e.g. from W. Europe to Japan) to build up stocks there, particularly in eel farms; or cooked and eaten.