Now, that’s a fish. Or maybe a snake pretending to be a fish. You know, those disgusting looking, cadaver eating things who still jump around after you’ve chopped them up.
The Swedish word for “eel” is “ål” (pronounced “ole”), and ål is something associated with the province of Skåne (Scania) in the very south of Sweden. Down here, we have special eel parties – “ålagille”, and at an ålegille, you’ll get booze, beer, aquavit, and eel. Smoked eel. Fried eel. Boiled eel. Dead eel. Strangled eel. Plus more aquavit, beer, and even more aquavit.
Then there is “luad ål” – that’s a Skåne speciality. A luad ål is an eel that’s been salted, and then it’s grilled AND smoked – at the same time!
If you want the best luad ål, ask for “himmaluad ål”. That’s an eel that’s been luad at home. The fisherman’s home, that is, not the eel’s lair.
Superhero Mäktige Månsson from Skåne (and created by yours truly), eats eel several times a day, and at least one eel is himmaluad.
A couple of miles north of the city of Landskrona, situated between Malmö and Helsingborg, is a small and picturesque old fishing village called Ålabodarna, which means “The Eelsheds”. Here, the fishermen still fish for eel, and smoke them in their sheds in the harbor. You can buy your himmaluad ål directly from the rugged guy who caught it. There are also a couple of fish restaurants in Ålabodarna, one of them claims to be the smallest restaurant in the world.