What are "Angulas"?

Angulas
Saragoldsmith/Wikimedia Commons

Angulas is the Spanish name for young European eels, or "elver" eels. When these tiny eels arrive in fish markets they are already 2-3 years old, but are only about 3 inches (8cm) long and the thickness of a strand of spaghetti. Although baby eel was originally a common fisherman's dish eaten in the Basque Country, it is now very expensive with prices reaching over 1,000 euros per kilo (2.2 lbs) in Spain.

Several factors have contributed to the skyrocketing price, including increased demand across Spain and Asia, decreased supply from overfishing, and changes in the ocean habitat. Many shoppers in Spain purchase the mock angulas, which are commonly known as gulas.

For a closer look, watch this 2007 news story that appeared on Spanish television. It has good close-up footage of angulas in the market, as well as Spanish customer commentary on the spiraling prices in Angulas a 1000 Euros.

Where to Buy Angulas

Several internet retailers based in the United States carry 4oz sizes of authentic eels. A single serving of angulas is only 1-2.5 oz. (50-75 grams), so a can would serve two as a first course. For those who want to taste angulas without spending a small fortune, mock angulas made of Pollock fish are available in jars or cans (111 gr/4 oz) in stores Spain for a fraction of the cost. These mock eels are generally referred to as gulas.

Spanish Recipes with Angulas