However, this is enough about cooks. But we must say something about the conger. For Archestratus, in his Gastronomy, tells us how every part of it should be treated, saying—
In Sicyon my friend you best can getAnd after this he goes through the whole country of Italy, saying where the congers are best, describing them like a regular writer of an Itinerary, and he says—
A mighty head of conger, fat, and strong,
And large; and also take his entrails whole,
Then boil him a long time, well-soak'd in brine.
There too fine congers may be caught, and theyAnd Alexis, in his Seven against Thebes, says—
Are to all other fish as far superior
As a fat tunny is to coracini.
And all the parts of a fine conger eelAnd Archedicus, in his Treasure, introduces a cook speaking of some fish which he has been buying in the following terms— [p. 461]
Well hash'd together, overlaid with fat.
Then for three drachmas I agrayling bought.
Five more I gave for a large conger's head
And shoulders. (Oh, how hard a thing is life!)
Another drachma for the neck. I swear
By Phoebus, if I knew where I could get
Or buy another neck myself, at once
I'd choke the one which now is on my shoulders,
Rather than bring these dishes to this place.
For no one ever had a harder job
To buy so many things at such a price;
And yet if I have bought a thing worth buying
May I be hang'd. They will devour me.
What I now say is what concerns myself.
And then, such wine they spit out on the ground!