Weird or Good: Escargot
Garden-fresh snails for Bastille Day!
By no means are we referring to the unadulterated, pesty slime machines currently munching away at your garden; however, something must be said of snails that ooze their way into fame. Renowned chef Heston Blumenthal of England's Fat Duck has won the the hearts of food enthusiasts worldwide for his snail porridge. The French have been bathing their abundance of gastropods in the universally-pleasing combination of pungent garlic, vibrant, grassy parsley and salty butter (also known as persillade) for centuries. You can find escargot (pronounced ess-car-GO) in the appetizer section of any French menu worth its salt. A cheap and easy-to-harvest source of protein, snails are a popular street food in many parts of Asia as well. A mild flavor and tender-yet-toothsome mouth feel, as opposed to the common misconception that it's like chewing on a balloon, keeps a huge world demographic coming back for more. A properly-cooked snail is similar to a mussel.
Go at a snail's pace if you must, but get yourself to a French bistro and own the whole experience - indented escargot plate, tiny morsel-spearing fork and all. Don't forget to mop up the excess sauce with a crusty hunk of baguette, it's the second best part.
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