A snail by any other name…

I’ve eaten rattlesnake in Arizona, alligator in Missipippi, buffalo, moose, caribou, whale, and bear in Alaska, frog’s legs, sheep’s brains, kidneys, liver and and hearts of all sorts in Ireland but I’d never eaten snail. I’ve  had duck’s tongue and chicken’s feet and have even eaten a fly or two, but more by accident than design. I’ve eaten shellfish so it wasn’t the forcible eviction that was bothering me. It was that I’d seen too many of them crawling up walls and slithering their slimy way across a footpath. I simply could not imagine myself eating one. But when in Malta…

Getting them out of the shell was a little problematic. The tines of the fork were too big so I had to resort to using a toothpick (thank you, Charles Forster). That quiet, wrenching sound they made as the shell finally ceded way was a little disturbing but I soon got used to it. When I first ate frog’s legs, I was rather taken aback to see that they actually looked like frog’s legs (and some people think I’m intelligent!) The same with snails. I wasn’t thinking snails – I was thinking escargot. As if poshing up the name could change the substance (Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest comes to mind). A little like the metamorphosis that leeks and potatoes undergo when they’re renamed vichyssoise.

Ever wondered how some foods got their name? Check this site out. Beef Stroganoff was the prize-winning recipe created for a cooking competition held in the 1890s in St. Petersburg, Russia. The chef who devised the recipe worked for the Russian diplomat Count Pavel Alexandrovich Stroganov, a member of one of Russia’s grandest noble families.

Anyway, I digress. Suffice to say that I can now cross snails off my bucket list and doubt very much that I’ll ever feel the need to eat them again.

6 replies
  1. Bernard Adams
    Bernard Adams says:

    Reading that got Easter Sunday off to an incomparable start – big snails are not uncommon in my garden. I don’t eat them, just avoid treading on them in the interests of preserving Nature – they have a hard enough time from the blackbirds.

    Reply
  2. peter
    peter says:

    Hmmm………….I’ve tried them once too and won’t be rushing to go there again. Trouble is there are always lots of other interesting things to try rather waste your choice on something that in Britain is considered an oddity. I love seafood and I suppose that a lot of that is akin to snails……..but it does feel far more appetizing that meaty bits of garlic! (snails).
    However on Easter Sunday there is only one dish (bloody) Welsh lamb!!

    Reply
  3. Cecile
    Cecile says:

    Oh my…never seen a snail casserole before! Shame you were not introduced to snails with the traditional simplier french recipe..might have made a difference 😉 less is more..

    Reply

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