Friday, March 01, 2013


When I tell people that Escargot are our Garden Snails, they tell me I'm talking rubbish                   Mans

When you think of escargot, you think of fancy pansy French cuisine, but all they really are, are our common snails that chomp our flowers, herbs and veggies.

I quote from ‘Our Best Traditional Recipes’, by Vida Heard & Lesley Faull. “Our garden snail is said to have arrived in the Cape in 1854 when the French consul at Cape Town imported a barrel of live snails for his table. Some escaped, hence the plague of Helix Aspersa in our gardens.”     

An snail orgy photo taken on a very fast shutter speed                                                                                           Mans          
It makes sense that we should chomp the naughty little buggers that chomp our chomp, and this is what I set out to do. After many goes and a jolly long time, I feel that I’m finally on the right snail trail; then again anything to do with snails shouldn’t happen quickly.      
Snails like showers too   Mans
They also like chomp & drink  Mans
Firstly you’ve got to collect a bunch of them. This is the easiest part, coz anybody with a garden will tell you that they have got heaps of them, so if you don’t have a garden, ask somebody who does. OK, now that you’ve got them, you need purge them by cleaning out their systems, just in case they have any toxins lurking within, from pesticides or poisoness plants. I’ve heard the best food for this is wheat germ, coz just like us, it cleans out their systems quick kwik (I used flour). Oh, you need give them plenty of water, coz this ‘makes them go’, which helps the purging process, you know wot I mean? I also give mine a good shower once a day. I have made a little box, known by some of my vegetarian friends as ‘The Death Camp’; It’s got a mesh floor to make cleaning them easier. After about a week in 'The Death Camp', they are ready for chomping and so begins another sloooooooow process., but first you have got to do the nasty deed.

Lets face it, it's not pretty       Mans
For this horrible part, I have to adopt ‘the mean kid’ persona and pop them into a bowl and chuck plenty of salt over them. They froth and bubble away, which lets face it, is all rather ugly to watch, unless of course, you're a mean kid. All that foaming does seems to help to get rid of a whole spittoon of slime. IT IS NOT PRETTY. When they are no longer alive, I blanche them very quickly in boiling water, pluck each one out of their shell with a toothpick and cut their guts off. I clean the little orbs, to get rid of their slime, which is again a labouriously sloooooooow - then again, we're dealing with snails.

Once all the little nuggets have snot got anymore mucous, I tenderize them overnight. In this blogs case, I used my breakfast ingredients of yoghurt and the pips and skin of a papaya. Obviously I ate the good part. Finally I took them out of my improvised concoction, cleaned them, patted them dry and quickly, I mean kwikly fried them in garlic butter, then served them on corstini garnished with finely chopped fresh garden parsley. Parsley that hadn't already been gobbled by my lunch.

Breakfast and tenderizer                                                                         Me

They were BLOODY GOOD actually                                                 Mans

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