Having moved recently to Tassie, I have noticed an abundance of common garden snails. They are everywhere and anywhere where they are protected from the elements.
Having lived in China where eating fresh molluscs such as snail and ‘slugs’ was common…and enjoyed garlic butter escargot on the streets of Paris, I was wondering if I was missing out of a opportunity to put this garden pest to good use.
Let us know if it is possible, if you have tried to do it yourself with your garden escargatoire, how you did it and what they like.
According to an It Forum (forumdiagraria.org) rat lungworm (Angiostrongylus cantonensis) can infect snails and slugs that come into contact with infected rat faeces. People can be infected when they eat an infected snail or slug.
Snails from Snail farming, are obviously safe to eat.
My grandmother would cook them at the feast of St John the Baptist, they say that’s what he used to eat while in the desert, and honey. ( Although the Gospel says that he ate locusts and honey).
I remember she’d leave them for about a week to ‘espurge’.
Not sure where she got them from.
I didn’t have any, can’t say what they taste like. And if I can help it I never will😉
Professionally prepared - with lots of butter, garlic and red wine for the sauce they taste mostly like like red wine garlic and butter. There is a lot of preparation in advance. Certainly a goto if you are looking for something different. The Tassie Dept of Agriculture might have some good advice on using ‘free range’.
Personally, to save some effort, I’d skip the butter and garlic, and then leave the snails out.
Yes the purging seems to be a key step. I have read various methods of doing it but as I have no personal experience I can’t say which is the best.
From the few times I have eaten escargot I found the texture to be rubbery and the taste unremarkable. I suggest some research into getting them tender would be advisable, quick and just done like calamari or low and slow like tougher cuts of meat - dunno.
From what I remember, family members would praise grandma’s sauce, (nothing was said about the snails )
From a quick reading around, also the slime has to be cleaned off before cooking, and the digestive tract removed before serving.
And boiling in any stock for 30m. is one of the suggestions for tenderness.
Not quite $80 per kg. Described as tender and chewy.
I think @phb might be on to something if there is a plentiful supply in the garden. I’ve only consumed snails as a stand alone dish. They can apparently be used as a topping for other meals, fillet of venison being one such serving suggestion. I’d prefer @gordon alternate serving suggestion.
Google Snail Farming in Australia. It’s labour intensive from paddock to plate.
Not showing this to my son… he eats ants off the trees. He only likes them fresh - I bought him some dehydrated tyrant ants from ediblebugshop.com.au and he wasn’t a fan. Fresh only.
If he thought he could I reckon he’d give live snails a go too… he watches too much Bear Grylls
Would definitely advised against it. The rat lungworm mentioned above is real and resulted in paralysis of a young man who ate a slug as a dare with his mates. He ended up dying 8 years later. Not worth the risk.
I live in Tassie too and would be more than happy to supply you with all of my snails. I don’t want them, will never eat them and have no fish or chickens to feed them to so you are welcome to as many as you’d like - preferably ALL of them!!
I know a friend who got some kind of tiger snails (disease free) and started a snail farm with about half a dozen separate chambers, he’d breed them and feed them up on clean greens and (I think) guinea pig feed pellets, then switch them to bran dusted with some kind of lime powder for a few days, then a fast, and then they were pot-ready. But he started with healthy snails and was scrupulous in keeping things washed clean. I have to admit that those snails actually tasted okay.