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Everything posted by sazji

  1. It's the same in Persian - the word for both lemon and lime is "limoo" or "limoo-ye torsh," (sour lemon-or-lime, as opposed to the sweet lemons they also have in Iran, which are definitely lemons). I feel another subject thread coming on.
  2. Wow....I don't think I've ever before laughed so much at a thread; not only from the pictures, but also from the great comments! I'm sitting here in an internet cafe, giggling uncontrollably (but trying to do it quietly) and wiping tears from my eyes. The title reminded me of The gallery of regrettable foods; since the site wasn't mentioned directly I'm going to pretend you haven't all seen this site already http://www.lileks.com/institute/gallery/index.html. Maybe someone hasn't seen it anyway. And in the "posted way too much" category, I couldn't help but repost this one because it is just so...regrettable. I regretted seeing it, and regretted having no way out of eating it. <img src="http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b60/sazji/ser.jpg" alt="Image hosted by Photobucket.com"> Eat up!
  3. sazji

    Nasty Ingredients

    Of course it does. But for many of us, I think that's why we're here. Personally, I thought asafoetida smelled a bit like armpit. Fish sauce stinks, but so nice mixed with lime and chili and grated green papaya.... But it's one of those things like durian. The overriding smell of durian seems to me to be that of rotting onion. But combine it with all the other flavors and it's inexplicably good. BTW the link to fish sauce was fascinating. Now I want to try making my own! Kind of a long process though...
  4. If you are cooking and someone else is helping you, and you tell them to put the whole eggplants into the oven, make sure you either tell them to give them a poke with a knife, or do it yourself. Especially if said oven is in a wood stove and you can't just turn it off. My living room smells funny. And a really painful one, almost too painful to include, which (thankfully) is not my personal "d'oh!" If you are beating cake batter with a hand mixer, and the cord pulls out of the mixer (but not out of the wall), and falls into the batter, do not lick the batter off the female plug... Details omitted for obvious reasons. The woman who did do it, always starts the story with "I don't know *what* I was thinking...but..." I've also done the bare hand on the cast iron pan preheated for cornbread trick several times. But I seem to have learned; now I find myself cautiously touching the handle every time I pick up the thing. Knock wood.
  5. Well, being an overwhelmingly Muslim country, pork in any form is something a bit exotic, partaken of again by a very upscale and non-religious crowd. (Which is not to say that all very upscale people are non-religious here.) It was more common when there was a large Greek population; one of the Istanbul Greeks' famous dishes is pork cooked with prunes. About the only time I ever really missed it was the few times I went to Chinese restaurants and noticed its conspicuous absence from the menu. Chinese food and no pork??! There is lots of "ham" here, but it's made of beef or turkey. Part of the price also owes to the heavy taxation on imported foodstuffs. Parmesan cheese isn't cheap to begin with, but here it's around 40 a kilo. I go across to Greece regularly, so I just stock up on things like that there. Half the time my friends there slip that stuff into my bag as I'm leaving... Hehe, people think *I'm* upscale when I give them pesto with real parmesano reggiano...but I do set them straight.
  6. "Moscholemono." Literally, "fragrant lemon." But most people simply call them "laim," and that's how it usually appears in the grocery stores. I remember trying to describe a lime back in the 80s, and people said "oh, you mean an unripe lemon." Finally one said "oh, isn't laim a fragrance they use in shaving cream?" Limes have never had any place in Greek cooking as compared to lemons, lime trees are more tropical and much less hardy. The same holds true for Turkey; a few weeks ago I had a bartender swearing up and down that a lime was nothing but a green lemon; he said "you might use something different in the US, but I'm a professional, I know!" I was surprised to find that in Iran, it's the other way around, true limes are much more popular.
  7. I just witnessed a rather new take on dunking this morning. Yesterday a friend from the East who is visiting, had brought a box of tulumba, a sweet made of an eggy dough that is pumped out in short lengths into hot oil, and when done is dunked in syrup. Lovely, like a sweet sponge, crispy on the outside, diabetes and heart disease provoking on the inside. We were drinking our morning coffee, and instead of putting sugar in, he just took a whole tulumba and plopped it into his cup. (They are about 2 1/2 inches long.) After it had sat a bit, he fished it out with the spoon and made a single mouthful of it, a shiny dribble of coffee escaping down his chin. Good thing Emily Post had the day off...
  8. A bowl of muhallebi (pudding made from buffalo milk and thickened with rice flour) with raspberries, with a slab of kaymak ice cream over the top. And that was my second choice...I went into the place with a taste for creme caramele but it looked like it had been cooked too hot, full of bubbles...
  9. Almost any cookie, but the all time favorites are definitely gingersnaps, grahm crackers, and almost any chocolate cookie. As to why dunk a chocolate chip cookie - well, yes, a freshly-baked oozing chocolate chip cookie does have a texture and quality all its own, but so does a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie dunked in milk. BTW nice glasses, Gifted.
  10. Ummm...wow, I'm going to be unpopular but I can't stand the stuff; to me it just isn't yogurt. I lived in Greece in the 80s, and when that stuff first came out, everyone was saying it must have powdered milk in it, because its texture and taste were so unlike real yogurt. The company insisted it did not, but a friend of mine said she found bits of undissolved milk powder in it. (It's hearsay, Fage company, please don't sue me.) Now people have taken to it more, but to me it's another product altogether; Fage is to yogurt what carob is to chocolate. I was in Samos a couple years ago and ordered yogurt with honey for breakfast, and it was Fage, I couldn't get through it. Give me a plain old container of real fresh yogurt, cow or sheep, it doesn't matter, any day. I could see using it in cooking though. Then again, considering what there is to compare it to in the US, I could maybe understand why it's becoming popular there, as it is in England as well. I've never quite understood the American practice of messing so much with dairy products. Yogurt is a natural product. It's fairly easy to make, people have been doing it for thousands of years, with nothing but milk and a starter, and it's delicious that way. So why then does every brand of yogurt I've ever seen in the US, with the exception of Nancy's, have gelatine, guar gum, carageenan or other adulterants to give them textures that are so un-yogurtlike? It's like they want them to be jello or pudding or something. Even Nancy's doesn't begin to come close to the average product you can get in any grocery store in Greece (barring Fage) or Turkey. Back home when I would make yogurt myself, it tasted right; but the commercial stuff in the US is just weird! ....did I mention I didn't like Fage?
  11. Cheese, especially anything like string cheese, kashar/kasseri. Red peppers. Olives. Pastirma. Not that any of these things are not eaten plain, but it's hard to refrain from popping them in my mouth. And any kind of fresh fruit - whenever I'm making a pie or whatever it may be, a lot will go into my mouth rather than into the pie. I never did manage to make a raspberry pie back when I had a big bunch of raspberries, they were too good fresh off the canes...
  12. An interesting thread, this one. When I first read the initial post, I found myself saying "yeah, true," to many things, especially the money thing. In the US, mostly, you have to lay out some good money to get good quality vegetables and fruits. Every time I go home, I'm shocked at what they are asking for a pound of whatever. I am not at all rich, I'm not working for an American salary in Istanbul, but I can afford to eat really good vegetables, fruits and herbs pretty much any time I like. Much of this is perhaps because things come from so far away; but even in Washington state where I lived, apples were just as expensive as anywhere else. This system has also nearly eliminated eating by season; you can buy a peach almost any month of the year in a grocery store in the US but I'm interested in when I can find an edible peach *anywhere* in the US. I gave up years ago. However I also found that at least in Seattle, there were alternatives. You could get fruits and vegetables just as good as those in QFC for much less if you went to chinatown and bought them at Viet Wah. Someone mentioned being able to find fresh herbs - I notice a similar thing here. In grocery stores, about the only fresh herb you can get for a decent price is parsley, and perhaps cilantro in some areas. This is because there is a high turnover, they are sold in simple bunches and there is not much loss, I'd wager. The rest are in fancy little packages (how much are we paying for those little plastic jewel boxes?) and are still marketed as something a bit upscale. There is very little as invasive and rampant as mint; you stick it in the ground and it immediately goes out of control, but it's absurdly expensive to buy it in a QFC or Safeway, but go to an Asian grocery and you will find big bunches for sale at logical prices, perhaps a few different varieties at that, because people use it. One phenomenon in the US (and many places I suspect but here it's a very small minority who can really buy into it) is that once an idea becomes popular, it's immediately capitalized upon and packaged. Remember natural foods coops? I remember when they first started, back in the late 60s/early 70s, and they emphasized healthy, fresh foods. The last time I went to Pacific Consumers Coop in Seattle a couple years back, I was shocked at just how incredibly expensive everything fresh was, and how the great majority of what was for sale was pre-made, pre-packaged. Perhaps lower on preservatives than other places, but fresh? It was aisles and aisles of stuff, and nothing to eat. Of course, when there is not much of a market for something, bringing or preparing it in small quantities to a limited market is going to be more expensive. It's been especially interesting to watch the markets in Greece, where I lived back in the 70s and 80s, and those in Turkey. As Greeks have become more affluent and traveled more, they have become more interested in new flavors. I remember in the 80s, nobody had any idea what a lime was. Now you can find them in many grocery stores, and there is even a Greek word for them now. (Besides "laim") Fresh ginger costs 3 or 4 Euros a kilo; compare this to Turkey where this kind of stuff is still the realm of a very small and affluent group - ginger if you can find it costs about 25 dollars a kilo. Lime? 10 a kilo. Bacon (an example of a low-demand product): 80 dollars a kilo, if it's findable. We have chinese restaurants, sushi places, mexican restaurants, but as there is no local chinese, japanese or mexican population, they cater to an elite group who has spent lots of time abroad, and so are all in very affluent districts or places frequented by foreigners. Eating sushi especially is a marvelous way to show you have money, because despite the availability of very, very fresh fish here, it's much more expensive than in the US, even though the average wage here is far, far below that of the US. Your average person has no more idea what sushi is, than your average Iowa housewife in 1950 knew what "cilantro" was. It's a bit hard to determine what is the chicken and what is the egg, but with prices as they are and American ideas about food what they are, generally, it's not at all surprising to me that so many Americans are perfectly happy to eat pre-prepared foods, buy frozen or canned instead of fresh vegetables. Here you can find a few canned things but they certainly aren't very popular; most housewives would still wonder why someone would buy, say, okra in a can when you can get it fresh? Frozen vegetables...I can't even remember if I've seen them. Things are changing though. I live in an older part of the city, with many fruit and vegetable stands within walking distance of my house, neighborhood grocers every block or so, and three huge street markets a week in my general area. Over on the Asian side, in slicker areas like Bostanci and Ataköy, where people mostly live in high-rises, there are no street markets, no corner groceries, no fruit markets. I was surprised to find that people there, mostly middle class, seemed fairly complacent about it. Living in your car and buying everything from a grocery store is, for many people, a new thing, and a sign of status, like having the latest cell phone. I went to one of those giant grocery stores for the first time just a month ago; it wasn't much different than a QFC back home, a big deli case with familiar foods, börek brought that morning from God-knows-where, dried out and oily, and no "börekçi" (börek maker) anywhere within walking distance. They pay a lot more for this stuff now; it's more expensive in the grocery stores than it is if you go to a börekçi, fruit and vegetables are more expensive there than if you go to a fruit stand or especially a neighborhood market. But there, those other things are no longer alternatives. Eventually I suppose it will become that way for the rest of the city, and the rest of the country, and the few remaining greengrocers will become more expensive. Still, some seem to be resisting. I heard today that Turkey is the first country where MacDonalds actually took a loss - there were once 25 of them in Ankara and now there are only 4 or 5. People tend to get tired of things that are attractive simply because they are new and have status appeal. They eventually realized, I suspect, that the many and varied traditional "fast foods" here are both cheaper and much better than what Mickey D's serves up. Hopefully they will realize the same thing about packaged foods and other far-from-the-source products. If they get into the EU, the battle will be lost I suppose, as they are forced into that kind of economic system. But that seems increasinly doubtful, so perhaps there is still hope for good food in Turkey at least!
  13. The roasted plum ice cream sounds incredible....! Here's a recipe for Marash ice cream, the one made with sahlep/salep/sahlab, orchid root starch. Yes, the sahlep is hard to find, but if you have a friend going to Turkey, you can hit them for a favor...the stuff keeps for a long time as long as it's kept dry. (Hell, if you are really into it, I could pop a bit into the mail, hopefully nobody will think it's coke...) It's not cheap cheap but not prohibitively expensive. Last time I got it, 100 grams was around 5 dollars or so. It is a bit "tricky" - the main thing is to mix it well with sugar, add liquid gradually making a paste/sugar slurry, then gradually whisk in the rest of the liquid. Otherwise it lumps terribly. You could still fix it by putting it into the blender though. The recipe I have is for 5 litres of milk but you can cut it down of course. 5 lt. milk 800 gr. granulated sugar 50 gr. sahlep powder (not drink mixes) Warm the milk on medium heat. Mix 200 grams of the sugar with sahlep in a bowl, and add enough of the milk to make a medium thick paste, beating with a whisk. Gradually add the rest of the milk, and continue stirring with a wooden spoon. (If you aren't careful here, you will get lumps.) Return to the pan and when the milk comes to 60 C, add the rest of the sugar, and continue cooking like this for 30 minutes. Don't boil it; the point is to let the sahlep completely break down so the mixture becomes very smooth. Cool the mixture, then chill in the refrigerator. Freeze in an ice cream maker. This is the basic recipe, and if you have good quality milk it's delicious with no extra flavorings. Buffalo is the preferred one as it is very rich and pure white but you can use cow's milk of course. You can also add other flavorings. Some of the favorites are cocoa, ground pistachios, and mastic (which is pounded with sugar in a mortar and pestle or a food processor to a fine powder before adding to the milk). Other common additions are hazelnuts, lemon, black mulberry (the large tart mulberries - in the US they are mostly grown in California, and are a far cry from the bland mulberries that grow wild in the US.), blackberry, morello cherry, and caramelized sugar.
  14. I think I got a new one... aside from the stuffed intestines and stomachs I posted about recetly, which don't really count as they are a local favorite where I [was forced to] eat them, I had a pretty awful Christmas meal, actually a series of them, in Greece. The sad thing was, it should have been good. There are two kind of bad meals, I think...one where people use horrible ingredients and just really wrong combinations (shrimp cocktail over a lime green jello base comes to mind) and then the reall sad kind, where wonderful ingredients are completely destroyed. In Greece, the meat of choice for Christmas is pork, and since it is virtually unavailable in Turkey, I was looking forward to it. I should have known better. My friend's wife is a wonderful woman in every area except anywhere within 10 meters of a kitchen. Her nickname should be "Bessemer Betty." Everything is cooked hot, fast, and long. Vegetables are goaded along on their eventual conversion to petroleum by hours on high heat, shrimp become chewy white fibrous polyps, soups fairly erupt from their pots. I wonder what previously unknown elements have emerged from her cooking. So the main course consists of two meats: 1) a huge pork roll stuffed with prunes, dry apricots and garlic, and 2) traditional Greek pork sausages, as well as one with a hint of orange peel in the meat. The pork roll went in a big pan, and was covered with half a kilo of butter, and was put into the oven (200C) at 4 in the afternoon. It came out at 9, dark brown, and of course the meat was cooked hard and dry. I ate it thinking how delicious it could have been. The sausages were deep fried, for around 15 minutes, resulting in a chewy dry stick with a crispy exterior. Next day was a roast suckling pig. Two years ago she'd done a suckling pig, and overcooked it in sauce, so it had completely fallen apart. I thought she might have learned from this experience. Evidently she did: she did away with the sauce. The piglet was cut into fourths, put in a deep baking pan, covered with 750 grams of butter, and stuck into the oven (205C or so) at approximately 2:00 a.m. Her huband said "oh...putting a little butter on it, eh?" She quickly responded "I want no critiques of my cooking!" The next morning, I got up at around 9:30 and went into the kitchen, which was filled with a light smoky haze. I didn't dare intervene, but opened the window, and the oven, several times. Niki got up around 10:30 and took it out. So lessee...suckling pig, cooked at 200C for 8 1/2 hours...yeah, I guess it was about done. She showed it to me, proudly, and said "remember what it looked like last night?" (Yeah, I thought, something that would taste really good!) It was basically a stratum of dried skin and dried meat protruding out of a lake of melted butter and pork fat, with ribs and some other bones protruding into the air. There was a selection of "salads," as they call them in Greek. Eggplant salad (the modern version of which is about 1/3 mayonnaise), "Russian Salad" which is diced vegetables mixed with plenteous mayonnaise, and "Ham Salad," which is dice ham, mixed with nearly equal parts...mayonnaise. She also made a special new salad she was really excited about: it was a Waldorf. She actually changed the recipe and added lots of cabbage and grated carrot, it wasn't bad because the large amount of cabbage diluted the seemingly improbable amounts of mayonnaise. The meal was at her sister's house, and also featured roast turkey, which was also well-dried out but not quite as spectacularly as the pork, a kind of sausage called "babo" which is black and stuffed with liver and spleen and lungs and rice, but is remarkably tasteless considering...how do they do that?...and a meat pitta that tasted strangely plastic-like. I stopped trying to figure out why it tasted like that, and just ate around it. Niki's mom makes a wonderful Vasilopitta for New Year's, but unfortunately I had to leave before then... The wine was really nice though, as were the chi-chi tortes they brought from one of the better pastry shops in town. Just having those around the house for the next couple of days made up for whatever else we went through!
  15. sazji

    Nasty Ingredients

    The "most disgusting thing I have ever eaten" is definitely cultural, though the taste (or rather the smell) I did find pretty revolting. It was only 4 weeks ago, in SE Turkey, a dish called "ser û pêpik" (head and feet in Kurdish), in a town about 6 miles from the Iraqi border. It comes in two courses: The intestines (small and large) and stomach, which stuffed (the stomach piece being sewn shut) with rice, then boiled till the rice is very tender. One thing is that the offal (how appropriately named *that* is) must be very carefully washed. I have eaten other dishes with intestines and had no trouble, but this tasted like it had been marinated in lamb poop, and I'm not exaggerating one bit. The woman who made it, the mother of a good friend, had worked all day on it, so there was no question of saying "ugh" and not eating it. <img src="http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b60/sazji/serupepik.jpg" alt="Image hosted by Photobucket.com"> The second course is the head, surrounded by the feet, which has been boiled in the same pot. <img src="http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b60/sazji/ser.jpg" alt="Image hosted by Photobucket.com"> It wasn't as bad as the first course, though it did carry some of the innard smell. I can eat brain too. But then, I was not presented with an eye freshly scooped out of the head. (Actually I had the choice, but my friend Leigh Ann, who was there with me, was a much better sport , not to mention a good actress, because I was convinced she was actually enjoying it. She thought I was, thinking "I'm such a wimp...here Bob is open to all these cultural experiences and here I am, trying not to gag"....it was only later when she said "wow...that was brutal," that I realized she was in exactly the same space as I was....)
  16. sazji

    Nasty Ingredients

    It's interesting to me what foods people have "phobias" to. Dill/cilantro are both umbellifers, a group of plants that includes some very poisonous members, like hemlock. It seems many members of this group are either loved or despised. Other members of the group which are either loved or despised are Cumin, Anise, Fennel, Caraway and Asafoetida. I couldn't deal with caraway for the longest time, was so-so on anise, and cilantro I thought hideous the first time I tried it. Now I have a 2 square meter expanse of it in my garden! Tomatoes are another common one. It was one of the few vegetables (well, okay, technically a fruit) that we had fresh when I was a kid. I never had trouble with tomato sauce, but stewed tomatoes and fresh tomatoes disgusted me. I remember once trying tomatoes again, at the urging of my mother, and actually running back to the bathroom to spit them out. I learned to like them in salads in Greece, where they were wonderfully sweet and tart and flavorful. But still most of fresh tomatoes are anathema to me. I still would not be able to drink a glass of tomato juice without being in serious danger of losing it... Ground cherries also disgusted me, and it was a long long time before I could eat peppers; I still have a 10 second long "adjustment" period when I eat something with cooked green pepper in it. And I was excited to try tamarillo ("tree tomato") for the first time, only to find out that for me, it embodied all the things of a tomato that repulsed me. Strangely enough, I love the smell of a fresh tomato, and especially tomato plants. All of this second group, along with eggplant (yet another love it or hate it food) are also members of a family with lots of poisonous members, the Solanaceae, or nightshade family. I wonder if there are certain compounds in these foods that many of us are genetically programmed to avoid?
  17. This is thankfully *not* my personal story, but one of a former housemate. He was going to cook a big pot of beans one evening, and decided to give them the quick-boil-turn-of-heat-then-cover treatment before heading out to Discovery Park for the day with his friends. (For those of you who know Seattle geography, he lived in Capitol Hill...) So he turned on the stove, which was electric, and as things hadn't gotten boiling or even making stove noises yet, and they were in a bit of a rush to get going, he forgot about it. About 3 hours later, as they were hiking back up from the seashore, someone mentioned dinner, the mental connection was re-established. He shouted, "THE BEEEEAAAAANNNSSS!!!!" and started running to get home. It's several miles away from Capitol Hill, he was on foot, and there didn't seem to be any buses coming any time soon, so he hoofed it. Luckily he was a bicycle courier (too bad they had gone by bus) and had the stamina. About 45 minutes later, as he came around the corner, out of breath, he saw a plume of smoke coming out of the kitchen window, a fire truck in front of the house, and a fireman coming out the front door, carrying the the sides but not the bottom of the large stock pot in which he'd "started" (and quite efficiently finished) the beans. Trying to be nonchalant, he went up to the house and said "so, what happened?" The fireman answered, "ah, some asshole put on a pot of something and left the house." "Wow, what an idiot" said John, and walked on by trying to become as invisible as possible. Now one would think a lesson like that would preclude a repeat performance...but actually the reason he told me this story in the first place was that he had just forgotten one of my heavy-walled aluminum pots on the electric stove at the house, and come in to find [what was left of] it melted/fused to [what was left of] the burner. In keeping with the topic, I hope he will "never again," but mostly I'm just happy we are no longer housemates...
  18. Can someone clarify this -- are the dried beans used for foul m'damas with or without the skins? I seem to remember Claudia Roden writing about eating them as a kid, the skins popping... but as far as I've seen, the skins are so tough, even after boiling, that you wouldn't want to eat them. The dried hulled ones we make into a sort of dip - boil a half pound of them with a couple chopped onions, simmer slowly till they are completely broken down, in sufficient water to make a medium-thick past. Add salt to taste, then pour into a deep dish and refrigerate. It sets up. Cut into squares, put on a plate, top with freshly chopped onion, olive oil and lemon, and finish off with lots of chopped dill. People either love it or hate it. It's called "fava," as far as I know the only use of that word in Turkish (the beans themselves are called bakla). In Greece they also call it fava but they make it with yellow split peas, departing even further from anything fava-related. Some friends also do it with green split peas; it's quite good.
  19. Yes, the quince is great, but their prices have gone through the roof, and their quality is definitely not what it was. I'll be interested to hear where else you went! bob
  20. Yes, the quince is great, but their prices have gone through the roof, and their quality is definitely not what it was. I'll be interested to hear where else you went! bob
  21. Wow, Ling...you are one sugar-lovin' woman! The header on this thread is "What are you having after dinner," but I find myself wondering if anything resembling what the world thinks of as "dinner" has ever been involved... Haven't been to Vancouver in a long time...ah, what I would do for a moon cake right now...
  22. It would indeed be interesting to see what "locally-flavored" gimmicks they think up to draw in the Chinese. McMooShoo? In Turkey, they have a "McPide" sandwich for Ramadan (Pide being the special bread they make during that month), and a couple other items, I believe. I tend to stay away... In Greece, there is a "McSarakosti" menu. Sarakosti is Lent, when Orthodox Greeks eat no meat or milk products. The catch line under it is "To Ethimo pou Egine Paradosi," or (almost equally meaningless to one who knows Greek), "The Custom that has Become a Tradition." Huh? Now I find myself thinking of what else they might be doing. I'm going over to Greece in a few days, but fortunately the town I'm visiting is still MacDonalds-free.
  23. sazji

    Cooking snails

    Allergies can manifest themselves in different ways - breathing problems, hives, swelling; there is no one single way. The best thing would be for you to get tested by an allergist, they may very likely turn up the culprit. Good luck! bob
  24. Took my visiting American friend across to the Asian side and introduced her to profiteroles at Beyaz Firin. One with cream-filled profiteroles in a dark chocolate sauce and a white chocolate version in which the puffs are filled with whole raspberries. Both with curls of the requisite chocolate variety on top. Then we half walked, half floated, back to the ferry station... and she professed her love for me... I'm gonna do a food porn post on that place one day...
  25. sazji

    Cooking snails

    Thanks for all the answers! I will try this again, as I still have lots of snails in the garden, and remember how good they were once upon a time. I've seen several references to this "black end," but am not exactly sure what it refers to. There is a big coiled dark thing, we used to eat that (and everything else) from the Cretan-style ones. Is that what we take off? Maybe I'll have to boil one, shuck it, take a photo and then have someone guide me? People here don't eat snails so nobody can tell me anything.
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