AMERICAN lamprey fit for a Queen were presented to the city of Gloucester today.
It is a city custom stretching back centuries to send the reigning monarch a lamprey pie – a traditional dish made with an eel-like fish native to the River Severn – to mark a coronation or jubilee.
But this year the eel-like fish native to the River Severn were sourced from abroad because of a UK protection order.
Mayor Andy Lewis officially received the lamprey from Marc Gaden of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, who flew from Michigan to present them.
He said: “Lamprey is something that we have always been proud of as a delicacy, it is obviously unfortunate that we are now having to source them from abroad but it is better than letting the tradition die altogether.
“Heritage is important to us as a country and it is these kinds of traditions which makes us British.”
This is the second time the lamprey have been sourced from the Great Lakes but the first time Mr Gaden has presented them personally.
“The irony is not lost on me that in the USA and Canada lamprey are seen as evasive and unwelcome but in Gloucester they are treasured and protected,” said Mr Gaden.
“It is a fascinating tradition and it has been a great privilege for me to deliver the lamprey personally and play a little part in this auspicious occasion.”