When Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Jubilee next week, one of the gifts she will receive is a lamprey pie.
The pie comes from Gloucester, a small city about 100 miles northwest of London. In a tradition dating to the Middle Ages, the city sent lamprey pies—which it considered a delicacy—to the monarch every Christmas and when kings or queens ascend to the throne. The lampreys usually come from the River Severn, a narrow, muddy waterway that passes through town.
The lampreys used for this year's celebration, however, will come from North America's Great Lakes region, since few are now available in the U.K. The image above (credit Gloucester City Council) shows lampreys; the pie, in the shape of Gloucester's cathedral, is still under construction. Of note, an interesting legend has it that in 1135, King Henry I died after eating a surfeit of lampreys.