Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Pass the snails / Fais passer les escargots

Having dinner as a family is one of the main things I thought I’d miss when crossing to the other side of La Manche. Not just for the meals themselves (though they play a big part I won't lie) but for the time spent talking and laughing together. 

So when Chéri asked me if I'd like to experience a traditional family Sunday dinner à la française, I jumped at the chance. was everything I’d been missing: roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, mashed potatoes drizzled with Bisto gravy, all topped off with a massive helping of homemade trifle. I could hardly wait.  "Mais, Chouchou", Chéri reminded me, "I said à la français. »  Oh yeah...

Sunday morning found Belle-Maman and Taté  busy chopping and mixing like women possessed. Despite Chéri's advice to leave them to it, being a curious cuisinière it didn't take me long to pop my head around the kitchen door to see what was on the menu. 

Snails with garlic butter / Escargots au beurre aillé
The first thing I saw were the snails. It was hard to miss them, piled high in pride of place on the kitchen bench. Now I like to pride myself on giving most things a try, but the thought of eating something that leaves slime trails behind when it moves just seemed a step too far even for me. 

It was with a certain reticence that I took my place beside Chéri at the table, knowing I’d have to face the slippery gastropod sooner or later. And sooner it was, for starter to be exact, smothered with garlic butter and roasted. Keeping my eyes fixed on anything but the fellas themselves, I took the mini skewer held out by Taté and impaled my snail.

A delicious aroma of sweet roasted garlic rushed up my nostrils, combining with the pleasant crispiness of the snail flesh cooked in the herb-infused butter. I swallowed the second one to make sure this wasn’t just a mistake. But no, this was in fact another one of those moments when I had to admit that the French may just be right about all things food.



“Pass the snails.”

Snails in Garlic Butter Recipe

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