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Lamprey is the Proust madeleine of the Bordelais a saying in Bordeaux

Lampreys have been around for 450 million years or so—they are among the first animals to evolve—and annually migrate up the Dordogne, and are a gourmet delicacy around Bordeaux.

Sainte-Terre de Gironde, France’s lamprey capital, is the seat of the Confrérie de la lamproie, who meet every February in their robes with lamprey medallions around their necks to celebrate their beloved dish.

Lamproie à la bordelaise is not a recipe for the squeamish, nor one that would have survived Brigitte Bardot’s animal rights squads if the beast in question weren’t a remarkably uncuddly, ugly, blood-sucking parasite that missed the evolutionary boat back in the night of time.

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Fish and seafood

Nouvelle Aquitaine

Text © Dana Facaros

Image by Joanna Gilkeson/USFWS