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Snails.........


nonblonde007
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I've asked this before in different forums, but no one seems to know, so I'll pose the question here:

Are slugs edible, assuming some sort of prep that removes the mucous membrane, and if so, why wouldn't they taste like snails?

I would also appreciate an answer. Where I currently live, the garden

is full of long yellow slugs (around

4 to 6 inches in length). One even crawled in the window yesterday

and had to be ejected with two cardboard pieces.

They're everywhere.

Our next dinner party, if these are edible, maybe these can appear;

a double advantage?

Edited by Milagai (log)
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The only information I got from the internet is that humans have contracted parasite-induced meningitis from eating raw slugs. Why they ate it in the raw state, I have no idea.

Nonblonde - I do so know that "ew" moment when you step on a slug/snail. The gross and gag factor is so eeew!

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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My "go-to" book for referencing the eating of things generally considered oddities (ha, ha I just typed that as "oodities" :laugh: ) is Strange Foods by Jerry Hopkins.

Chappie, you'd love this book. :rolleyes:

I've never been disappointed yet in it.

Here are some brief excerpts from the chapter "Snails and Slugs":

"I have eaten several strange things since I was twelve, and I shall be glad to taste broiled locusts and swallow a live fish. But unless I change very much, I shall never be able to eat a slug. My stomach jumps alarmingly at the thought of it."

Thus begins and essay by Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher.

[ . . . ]

"Slugs are awful, slugs are things from the edges of insanity, and I am afraid of slugs and all their attributes. But I like snails. Most people like snails."

In fact, the only significant difference between a snail and a (garden) slug is the shell. [ . . . ] : Like the snail, the land slug dines of vegetation, usually at night, thus it, too, is regarded as a pest.

The text continues to relate the history of dining upon sea slugs, which are quite a bit more popular around the world than land slugs are. The sea slugs have several rather amusing stories attached to them about their supposed ability to "enhance male virility". It's a shame we're talking about land slugs, for otherwise I'd have to relate those stories.

The author concludes his discussion of land slugs with this comment:

As for the garden slugs, the ones that Ms. Fisher found so off-putting, a cuisine has yet to be devised.

The chapter is illustrated with two photographs: one of a Laotian dish of apple snails with sticky rice, and the other of (yes, finally) creamed slugs on toast.

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I found this recipe:

Slug Fritters

http://www.bertc.com/slug_fritters.htm

also something about a slug festival:

Rather than curse the 10-inch yellow mollusks, as prolific here as cockroaches in New York, the natives celebrate them with an annual festival that includes slug races and a recipe contest that leaves the judges gagging or rushing home to brush their teeth.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html...750C0A96F948260

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  • 2 weeks later...
I've asked this before in different forums, but no one seems to know, so I'll pose the question here:

Are slugs edible, assuming some sort of prep that removes the mucous membrane, and if so, why wouldn't they taste like snails?

I've eaten two. (I had a particularly mean camp counselor. :sad: ) They were raw but the texture/"skin"/mucuous membrane was so gross that I threw up when I had the first one (hence the second slugh :hmmm:). And the texture was VERY different than that of snails. I can't explain it because I try to block it out of my mind - I was expecting them to have the same snail-y texture, but no. I don't think you could pay me a million dollars to eat one again, cooked or no.

Misa

Sweet Misa

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ROTFLMAO!!!!!!! I can almost feel your pain, and am sooooooooo greatfull that I don't!

Brenda

I whistfully mentioned how I missed sushi. Truly horrified, she told me "you city folk eat the strangest things!", and offered me a freshly fried chitterling!

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I am not going to weigh in on the whole slug thing, but as for snails I bought some at a street market in the Medoc over the summer that were cooked in the shell in a garlic tomato wine meat sauce - lovely, and probably pretty easy to do if you can get a hold of fresh snails.

Edited by menon1971 (log)
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I hope the slug trail in this thread gets lost quick. Back to the snails with shells...so far no one has commented on whether or not it's more common to get marine or land snails in France now, and if it depends on whether you are near the coast. From the info on the site below it would appear that land snails started it all in Burgundy, and that they are more commonly eaten now. I have no idea if this site is reliable. (It's interesting what it says about farming out snails to Turkey and Indonesia.) When I'm in France next month (Provence) do you think the snails will be land snails? Are they all referred to as escargot, or do they make a distinction?

Should you assume that any time you order snails in a restaurant in this country they will be canned? Last year I had very good tender escargots in a little bistro in Portland OR. In the past I've always found them rubbery and tough.

And speaking of marine snails, my Dad figured out how to gross me out beyond measure when I was little. We summered in Hampton Bays (in the 50's) where we spent hours digging clams and shrieking over horseshoe crabs. He used to find marine snails--what he called Scungilli--and he ate them raw, right out of the shell on the spot.

http://ckenb.blogspot.com/2007/08/escargots.html

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I hope the slug trail in this thread gets lost quick. Back to the snails with shells...so far no one has commented on whether or not it's more common to get marine or land snails in France now, and if it depends on whether you are near the coast. From the info on the site below it would appear that land snails started it all in Burgundy, and that they are more commonly eaten now. I have no idea if this site is reliable. (It's interesting what it says about farming out snails to Turkey and Indonesia.) When I'm in France next month (Provence) do you think the snails will be land snails? Are they all referred to as escargot, or do they make a distinction?

Should you assume that any time you order snails in a restaurant in this country they will be canned? Last year I had very good tender escargots in a little bistro in Portland OR. In the past I've always found them rubbery and tough.

And speaking of marine snails, my Dad figured out how to gross me out beyond measure when I was little. We summered in Hampton Bays (in the 50's) where we spent hours digging clams and shrieking over horseshoe crabs. He used to find marine snails--what he called Scungilli--and he ate them raw, right out of the shell on the spot.

http://ckenb.blogspot.com/2007/08/escargots.html

I was under the impression that helix snails are all land snails, quite prevalent in the wine producing areas (Spain as well, given that one of the oldest versions of paella includes them). I think sea snails are generally referred to bulot in France and whelks in Great Britain.

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Yes, thanks. it's the whelk in the UK and here it's known as the Waved Whelk or the Common Whelk, or to Italian-Americans, Scungilli. When I looked at some pix I realize they are indeed common--you see those shells all the time on the beach. It's also clear that you wouldn't mistake one for a land snail on your plate--at least not if it was served in the shell a la escargot. There are lots of species of whelk, some being a foot long like the Lightning Whelk. The elegant tapered point of their shells is what they use to open their entree: clam on the halfshell. Whelk farming is happening in Maine as we speak, and it sounds like they are targeting the Asian market. There must be Whelk with Black Bean Sauce, don't ya think?

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...There must be Whelk with Black Bean Sauce, don't ya think?

As i mentioned upthread Whelks (or Snails) in Satay Sauce - yum! Never had them with b/bean sauce but it would work for me. I like fresh Sea Snails or Whelk simply boiled too and eaten in the British seaside manner - with salt & malt & white pepper. There's something about that chewy mouthful.

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Are conchs snails? I've never done my own deconching, but are eyes a snail requirement? I don't think conchs have them.

As far as slugs go, I don't think so. Conch chowder is about as adventuresome as I get - although I have done Scungilli and wasn't pleased. I think it is a texture thing for me.

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Conch are not snails.

They are only suitable purchased live. The preperation is fairly simple but requires tools and gumption. You break the shell with a hammer at the third ring down from the top. Using a sharp knife you then cut the conch free from the inner shell spiral. Remove the obvious entrails, eyes and what some individuals think is an aphrodisiac and then cut into slices, marinate briefly in salt and lime and eat. Cooked conch is tough so pound away before cooking.

The stuff frozen or canned is to be avoided.-Dick

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Whelk farming is happening in Maine as we speak, and it sounds like they are targeting the Asian market. There must be Whelk with Black Bean Sauce, don't ya think?

Please let me know if you hear of Whelks becoming commercially available, preferably fresh and whole (in shell). I fell in love with them while on the coast of France over the summer - served cooked but chilled with fresh mayonnaise. Out of sight............. :smile:

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There's info on the web, so check it out. From what little I gleaned, Maine is where whelk farming is underway. Supposedly Whelk is sold in Boston and New York markets, but I am not sure whether these critters are bi-catch, harvested or if the farming thing is a going concern yet. Were you in Brittany? Sounds like the main whelk beds in France are on the Brittany coast. I will be in Provence and the Cote D'azur and Venice in a couple of weeks; now that I know they are called bulot, I will take notice if any are lurking about on the south coast.

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There's info on the web, so check it out. From what little I gleaned, Maine is where whelk farming is underway. Supposedly Whelk is sold in Boston and New York markets, but I am not sure whether these critters are bi-catch, harvested or if the farming thing is a going concern yet. Were you in Brittany? Sounds like the main whelk beds in France are on the Brittany coast. I will be in Provence and the Cote D'azur and Venice in a couple of weeks; now that I know they are called bulot, I will take notice if any are lurking about on the south coast.

Not Brittany, per se, but in Nord Pas de Calais. I am envious of your trip and hope you will find nice bulot in the South. I had great fresh sardines in the North from the South, so I suspect you will find what you seek. Also, there is a traditional Provencale preparation of snails involving tomatoes and garlic - wonderful.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm back from my trip to Provence, my main regret being that I didn't have more time there. My one mini-regret was that I missed my only chance to have Bulot. Our first day in Aix I spotted it on the menu but really wanted the fish soup, which was very good. Guess I assumed I'd have another chance, but in eight days in a variety of places I never saw it again. I did have snails in Aix and they were fabulous. I saw bulots at the Aix market and in the Venice fish market as well, but never on the Venice menus. Next time.

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  • 2 years later...

I like snails. However, I think I always had canned snails and never the fresh (live) ones. I found some farms selling live escargots, but I read they are now in their hibernation. Anyone any ideas if they taste worse at this particular moment, because I presume they live on their fat reserves, making them less good.

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I wouldn’t think winter in the UK is a good time to eat them fresh. Wait until summer and go to Herefordshire. The best snails I have ever eaten were served to me by Claude Bosi’s brother Cedric, at Claude’s gastropub The Bell Inn at Yarpool. The fare is very French provincial/traditional English and it was good to see plenty of local produce on the menu. :biggrin:Snails @ Bell Inn.JPG :wub:

Pam Brunning Editor Food & Wine, the Journal of the European & African Region of the International Wine & Food Society

My link

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  • 9 months later...

Hey guys, I ran across these at my local Super H, and was wondering ... I'm assuming I can eat these (since they're being sold at a grocer's seafood counter), and if so, how do I prepare them? I am a snail neophyte, but I've got to learn sometime, right?

snails.jpg

 

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Hey guys, I ran across these at my local Super H, and was wondering ... I'm assuming I can eat these (since they're being sold at a grocer's seafood counter), and if so, how do I prepare them? I am a snail neophyte, but I've got to learn sometime, right?

snails.jpg

Those look like periwinkles to me and it's timely as I was going to ask if they fall into the snail category. I've loved them in Chinese preparation with garlic and black bean sauce, but I've also added them to Paella and they starred!

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Hey guys, I ran across these at my local Super H, and was wondering ... I'm assuming I can eat these (since they're being sold at a grocer's seafood counter), and if so, how do I prepare them? I am a snail neophyte, but I've got to learn sometime, right?

snails.jpg

Those look like periwinkles to me and it's timely as I was going to ask if they fall into the snail category. I've loved them in Chinese preparation with garlic and black bean sauce, but I've also added them to Paella and they starred!

They sure do look like periwinkles, which are sea snails.

I would steam them through, then use a toothpick to pull out the coil of flesh from the shell while discarding the unpalatable trap door/lid/operculum.

Winkles are a wonderful vehicle for butter and garlic. The pictures below are raw, just shells, and just meat.

pix 003.jpg

pix 008.jpg

pix 013.jpg

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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I recently had a dish of these steamed and finished with chili, garlic, cilantro stems and lots of good Shaoxing wine - gorgeous! I'm not sure how long they were steamed, but the "trap-door" part was coming loose naturally, which I expect is a sign of done-ness? I thought they were as excellent eating as mussels.

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Winkles are lovely stir-fried with ginger and black bean garlic sauce - Chinese style. Once the trap doors are opened, they're done. Need paper towels and lots of rice for the sauce. :smile:

I also enjoyed picking them out of their shells with a straight pin, eating, and walking along the seashore in places like Whitby, England! I think these were just boiled in seawater or salted water?

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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