So that's what eel tastes like. -- Actually, this small tin of roasted eel from Old Fisherman in Taiwan tasted mostly like the sauce it was drenched in: sugar, salt, soy sauce, capsicum and MSG, according to the ingredients list. Underneath the sauce was a hint of something a bit more firm than limp, very dry and in need of drenching in something, and very, very faintly fishy.
I still don't think I really know what eel tastes like.
But the sauce was okay and the overall effect was not bad.
I guess I was expecting a wow experience from the texture of the eel, and I didn't get it. (Did I have any reason to expect such a wow texture?)
But the sauce was okay and the overall experience was not bad. It was far from the worst $1.79 I ever spent on food. Andrew Zimmer says to always try strange food more than once. Well, he gets paid to say things like that, and fortunately, I don't have to try something a 2nd time if I don't want to. But I'll be trying these eels again to see if the experience grows on me.
I haven't tried to Old Fisherman eels with fermented black bean sauce yet:
If anyone reading this is an eel connoisseur I'd be very grateful for any tips on where to get the good stuff, preparation (Should I have put those eels with that sauce on rice instead of just scarfing the contents of the tin?), or anything else you might like to share. Hòu huì yǒu qī. (I realize that eels are a highly-regarded cuisine in many other parts of the world besides China -- London, for example -- but I said hòu huì yǒu qī because the food reviewed in this post came from Taiwan.)