I will try (almost) anything once.
Pigeon in China, sheep lung and guts in Mongolia, chicken hearts in Japan, crickets in Thailand… and the list goes on…
This weekend, under the amused guidance of my friend Nathalie, I tried the very French escargot – snails which have been stuffed with butter, garlic and parsley and grilled.
The smell, of course, was amazing – that combination of ingredients is an olfactory delight. We had already tucked in some lovely local white wine, so inhibitions were low… I scooped the little creature out of its ornate shell and crunched right in.
The verdict? Well, as expected, the butter, garlic and parsley gave an instant hit of satisfaction. Yet, what lay behind that gourmand layer of saltiness was a slightly chewy and “earthy” taste that immediately transported me to its origins – the snail’s slow life on earthy, dark and wet surfaces… under rocks and leaves, on dusty walls and on sides of bins… Despite three attempts, I was not a convert.
This is one French tradition I may not embrace with open mouth! Non merci!
Here is a live specimen which I appreciated a great deal more than its grilled counterpart…