The concept of dying from a surfeit of lampreys intrigues me in that a single mouthful of lamprey could well constitute a surfeit in the mind of one unfamiliar with lamprey. Now that you are familiar, I think that you will agree with me that one look at a lamprey constitutes a surfeit. The death of King Henry I of England, who was French, from such a surfeit suggests to me that he was a reasonable man who had reached that point of frustration with his English chef’s tireless declarations of the superiority of good English fare over foreign muck up with which he could no longer put. He sent word to Chef Gordon of Ramsay to put up or shut up and Gordon, being who he was, chose the former, but chucked in a “fuck off” rather than do the latter. History tells us that lampreys are rarely, if ever, mentioned after that point in time. It had been mooted that the lamprey would be suitable to use in a unit of avoirdupoids measurement to be known as “perch, pike or lamprey” which, after the surfeit, was hurriedly changed to “perch, pike or rod” the latter of which was used vigorously on the unfortunate chef leading to the culinary term: “beat until stiff”.
About Food,Photography & FrancePhotographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
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