Patrik Svensson: The Book of Eels

Part research, part memoir, Patrik Svensson’s The Book of Eels is a wondrous, poignant read. Svensson delves into the laborious study of one of the most mysterious creatures on the planet. One of its standout characteristics is patience—something we could learn from them. Svensson’s personal connection with eels started when his father took him to eel fishing when he was a kid. They bonded over eels and his father loved to eat eels, which were mostly deep fried or steamed.

Speaking of eel dishes, Svensson needs to pay Vietnam a visit. We have over 20 eel dishes that will change his perspective on eels. My personal favorites include eel hotpot (lẩu lươn), stir-fried eel (lươn xào lăn), braised eel with lemongrass (lươn kho sả ớt), and sweet and sour eel soup (canh lươn nấu bạc hà). Then again, the extinction of eels is worrisome. Maybe we shouldn’t be eating eels anymore. The book has more details on this issue.

If you are into natural history and curious about eels, this is the book to read.