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It’s Eel week here in NI and its really exciting to big up a local delicacy. The festival runs from 25th June culminating in the Lough Neagh Eel Festival on Saturday 2nd July in Shane’s Castle, Antrim.

 Our eels hail from Mexico, are carried to Irish Waters by the Gulf Stream, then they make there way up the river Bann and into Lough Neagh!!!! What a journey. Also did you know eels can be male or female depending on what’s required!!! Eels have been a staple for many folk around Lough Neagh but alas the vast majority of our eels are exported to Denmark and Holland. 
As a celebration to the humble eel 17 eelivores descended on Deanes Love Fish last night to sample some eel. Now I have had eel Japanese style (sushi and tempura) which was fabulous but have not managed to try the infamous jellied eels of Cockney East End London!!!! 

On the eel menu there were three dishes. There was eel cakes, eel on toast and eel salad. I had the cakes which were lovely and tried the toast which was also very fine, but the eel salad was the tastiest in the sense that one could really discern the taste of the eel, which was subtly fishy and fleshy.

For my main I chose the battered haddock, fat chips, tartare and the best mushy peas I’ve tasted!! Alas it was just enough for me-couldn’t manage a dessert but others did.

The evening was facilitated by Shane from @tweetmeateat and #nistartupshour and it was a great forum to meet like minded folk. The venue was superb as was the food and service. 

So get down to Shane’s Castle, support eel week in local restaurants and check out #nistartupshour on Tuesday from 9-10 pm on Twitter.

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