Admit it, you’ve suspiciously eyed those little snails in your backyard and wondered if they were the same thing being sold at the posh french restaurant down the street. If you’re a fan of Escargot, you’re in luck, because you can get it right out of your garden!
I was watching Gordon Ramsay’s F Word a few days ago and he paid his kids to get some snails out of the garden and cooked a great looking salad with them! Now before you run outside and begin greedily stuffing snails in your mouth, you should be aware that there’s a little bit of work which should be done before cooking the snails. Snails in your garden may have consumed toxins so you should purify them.
I would suggest gathering the snails right after or even during a heavy rain. Snails like to come out onto the sidewalk when it rains (they probably don’t like drowning). If you don’t anticipate rain anytime soon, you can spray the yard down with a garden hose and then wait awhile for the little guys to come crawling out. I don’t know how long it takes them to come out when it gets wet, but they are snails, so it’ll probably take a few hours.
After you’ve gathered your snails, place them in a jar with a tight fitting lid and a few holes for breathing and leave them alone for two days without feeding them. You want to make sure you don’t skip this step as it’s the detoxification process and will allow your snails to purge any toxins they’ve consumed recently. Gordon suggests putting a carrot in their jar after two days of detox and leaving them until their poo starts turning orange. I’ve also heard that you can feed them cornmeal which is supposed to make them taste good (I’m going to go with Gordon’s suggestion on this one). After they’re pooing orange, put them in an airtight jar and leave them in the fridge until they stop moving. Your snails are now ready to cook!
I’ll post a great recipe or two for Escargot and link to it soon. For now, I’m off to collect some snails since it just stopped raining (really, it did)!