I read that eel isn`t appreciated in Britain. Is it true?
Traditional in the East End of London. They have Eel Pie and mash shops.
More like the used to have Pie and mash shops that served jellied eel as well. Pie and mash shops are a dying breed, and only a handful of the remaining ones still serve jellied eel, which is all cooked by a single shop in the East End. He supplies the few others, who each might serve a serving or two a day, if that. People have become quite squeamish about eating it, and are reluctant to even try it. Shame, because it's quite tasty. They are also turned off by the idea of anything savory in aspic (galareta).
Demand for eel has plummeted to the point where there is no longer any commercial eel fishing conducted in the UK for human consumption. What little ends up in the nets is sold to producers of cat food. All of the eel sold in the UK for human consumption is sold by a single fishmonger in Billingsgate, who imports it from the Netherlands. Most of it is consumed as sushi, and only a piddling and ever decreasing amount for jellied eel. Very few people cook it at home, and very few fish for eels anymore.
Also, the meat pies used to contain mutton, which, like eel, has fallen out of fashion and has been replaced with beef.
So British people rarely, if ever, eat eel nowadays, even though it was once quite popular. If they do, it is likely to be as sushi.
The reason for the odd combination of meat pies, mashed potatoes and jellied eel is that many of the poor working class were Catholic Irishmen who couldn't eat the eat meat pies on Friday. Since the owners of these shops were mostly Catholics themselves, they were glad to oblige. Hence, eel to the rescue. Curiously, MacDonald's started serving fish filet sandwiches for essentially the same reason.