Watch the S-Car Go…

“No, no, no!” Wills yells. “That’s like pouring acid over your body!”

Stun, she could only stare. The plastic packet of salt weighs heavily on her hand. The few specks of salt left on her fingers feels strangely grainy and guilty.

“But they’re pest...” she stammers. When Wills’ angry; his face turns a deep shade of red. His “Clark Kent” horn rims fogs up. She wilts under his steely gaze. She's done the unthinkable. He catches this girl sprinkling table salt on garden snails; that well-known land mollusk. She watches them melt from osmotic pressure.

A little too gleeful. That's a bad thing, really.

“You could hear him screaming "I'M MELTING!" The salt burns like acid and they try to overcompensate with the slime to soothe the burn. Eeeooowww….”


“That’s not the most humane way to kill?” she ask sheepishly.

Most people don’t realise that common garden snail is not merely a pest. It’s a gourmet food, a close cousin of the commercially raised French snail, Helix pomatia. In France they’re referred to as "petit gris" or "little gray" and "gros blanc" or "large white."

After two weeks of cleansing their system; a process similar to purging mussels, designed to clear out any grit in their guts, the results: fat tasty snail which are good for cooking.

You’ll keep them in a clear plastic container with a lid with tiny breathing holes. You could feed them with lettuce, minced carrots and then cucumber. You will need to clean out their container every day. When their dropping is clear of the bright orange colour, it means that their innards have been thoroughly cleansed. This is necessary in case they ate something bad like snail bait.

It’s just that small mental leap that one takes that turns garden pests into a gourmet crop: haute cuisine.

Wills takes her to dinner at an Italian restaurant just to prove a point. Their first course of appetisers: Air-flown French Mussels with White Wine Sauce and Garlic. Very clean and fresh tasting and the broth is wonderfully aromatic and not too wine-y. Delicious enough for them to take some bread to soak up the extra broth!
She warms up to the next course. Escargots.
“Just think of them as shell fish,” he instructs patiently.

“The French usually retain the snails in their shells for presentation, but other cultures serve them sauced in small baking dishes.”
Our dozen is amazingly aromatic and full of garlicky olive oil and fresh pesto.

Wills smiles lazily. He selects a large escargot and uses the scissor-like tong to grip and hold the shell in place.

He holds a snail fork is in the other hand and uses this to extract the meat with a pulling motion. The meat pops out.

Wills dips it into the pesto and feeds her. They taste pretty good, meaty, flavourful and not gummy at all. It has something to do with being French.

When complemented by a nice glass of white wine, a girl could just about eat anything cook in wine.

She winks at Wills and says, "It pays to use a decent and full-bodied wine for beef stews."

Huh... that's another story.

Doris Lim is a popular freelance writer who blogs as Little Fish on travel and food stories here. Be sure to check out her other inspiring stories and follow her Instagram @SmartDoryID & Facebook to check out more places to eat delicious street foods or dine in the best restaurants!


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