Eels were once so plentiful in the Thames that the nets were set as far up river as the capital itself. And, along with pies and oysters, they were the original London street food.
In 1844, long before the chippy took its place on our high streets. The first of many eel, pie and mash shops appeared. They quickly began to flourish and spread across the East End of London, appealing to the poor working classes, with their hot cheap and nutritious meals.