Loving Escargot | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

To kill them or to eat them! That is my question, my garden is so full of escargot.
If I ought to call them snails, slimy little creatures that destroy my plants and food crops, then I feel to kill them, but if I think of them as escargot, suddenly they become expensive and precious morsels.

Ancient Greeks and Romans appreciated escargot as a fine and delicate dish. Before cooking them, they purified their little stomach by leaving them to soak in milk bath for a few days until the snails got totally bloated and couldn’t get in their shells anymore. Purify them meant to eliminate any bitter grass or poisonous fungi (to humans) the snails had possibly eaten. The same practice goes on today.

The annals tell us that in 49 B.C. a certain Fulvio Lippino was the importer of snails from the islands of Sardinia, Sicily, Capri, from Spain, France and North Africa and supplied the large demand of the rich Romans.
Through the Middle Ages a plate of snails was well-regarded as a lean speciality. In fact, 3.5 oz. of snail meat without shells has only 0.4 protein and 0.05 fat, which means that calories are less than 65 per 3.5 oz. It is highly digestible, the meat contains water, salt and the shell transfers calcium and phosphorus to the meat. Snails are good food to protect against bacteria.

I thought that snails were one of the few poor food farmers could afford to eat. With rustic bread, a piece of cheese and a robust red wine their meal was complete, but at the beginning of 1800’s French chefs revived this little crawlers with the famous Escargot à la Bourguignonne, raising the price to a new height.

As I said earlier, before tackling the cooking it’s important to purify the snails from their saliva and impurities in their bellies. One way is to close them in a box with a lid well aerated on the bottom and leave them to dry for a few days; another way is to feed them corn meal until they are really fat (just like keeping them in milk) and can’t get back into their shells. Some people scald them in hot water. Whatever method you will choose, this process it’s important to eliminate the bitter taste and impurities.

Infinite are the ways to cook snails. My favorite way is with a light tomato sauce, easy and simple.
The only ingredients needed are:

Snails
Extra-virgin olive oil
Chopped garlic
Sun dried tomatoes (a few)
Chopped fresh tomatoes
1 Glass of white wine
A hand full of fresh basil leaves
Salt and hot chili pepper to taste

Sauté in olive oil snails with the shells, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes. Flavor with 1 glass of white wine and let it evaporate.
Add chopped fresh tomatoes. Season it with salt and chili peppers to your taste and cook for about 15-18 minutes.
Before serving, give it a sprinkle of fresh basil leaves.

This is the way my grandmother made them and has remained my favorite of all snail recipes from Puglia.

How To Eat Escargot

  • Snail tongs and a slender two-pronged snail fork are always at to the right of the plate.
  • Use the tongs to grip and hold the snail-shell in place.
  • Use the snail fork to pull out the meat from the shell.
  • Savor the escargot, then the sauce. Tear off a small piece of bread (usually a rustic type). Using the snail fork, dip the bread into the sauce. Enjoy the dish until the bread is gone. Trying not clean the plate completely it’s hard to do, but in a restaurant is not a good manner.
    Bon appétit. Ciao,
    Valentina
    www.Valentinadesigns.com 

Copyright © 2012 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

“The discovery of a new dish confers more happiness on humanity, than the discovery of a new star.” ~ Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior Designer with a passion for kitchens and cooking. She operates in the USA and Europe.
She loves to remodel homes and loves to turn unattractive spaces into castles, but especially loves to design kitchens and wine grottos, outdoor kitchens and outdoor rooms, great rooms and entertainment rooms.
Check her two Italian regional cuisine books in this site on the Books page and on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w  

Her new book ©Red-A Voyage Into Colors is about ready for publishing. Stay tuned!

Advertisements

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Robin Jean Marie
    Jun 14, 2012 @ 19:35:52

    This is such an interesting post! Enjoy your little crawlers, Valentina. 🙂

    Like

    Reply

  2. Stefan (maxima)
    Oct 17, 2012 @ 17:44:12

    beautiful blog ,thank you!

    Like

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Katrina Perkins

A force of Nature, with intense acting skills.

Postcards from Italy---Natalia Sarkissian

stories, one postcard at a time

In So Many Words

Creative writing inspired by life, love, laughter ... and a horse named Shakespeare

Art Gowns

The Art of Glamorous Fantasy

Paula Acton

Scribblings of an Aspiring Author

MAGNO

"La flamme des cuisines."

Teagan's Books

Now available: "Murder at the Bijou - Three Ingredients I"

litadoolan

Any old world uncovered by new writing

The Love of History

Another site/blog for loving history

Life is too short to drink bad wine

La vie est trop courte pour boire du mauvais vin

Badfish & Chips Cafe

Travel photos, memoirs & letters home...from anywhere in the world

daysandmonths

a journey of discovery with my camera...

yadadarcyyada

Vague Meanderings of the Broke and Obscure

Chasing Destino

I'll be outside of the mosh pit . . . waiting with bandaids and kleenex . . . I can also work magic with an ace bandage. Just sayin' . . .

this man's journey

Each journey has a story to tell. Each story has the possibility to bring about change, hope, joy, comfort, healing.

LEANNE COLE - The Photographer's Mentor

Fine Art Photographer ~ Daring to be Different

Through Harold's Lens

Harold Green Photography

HarsH ReaLiTy

My goal with this blog is to offend everyone in the world at least once with my words… so no one has a reason to have a heightened sense of themselves. We are all ignorant, we are all found wanting, we are all bad people sometimes.

The Punchy Lands!

Embrace Your PUNCHY Nature

In Bruttium

Uncovering Calabria & The Mezzogiorno, One Toe At A Time. | By Adam Underhill

Design Secrets

fulfill your craving for a beautiful home

Decorating by Donna • Color Expert

A Virtual Color Expert who is highly specialized in designing color for your home.

Green Door Hospitality

Adventures in Everyday Entertaining

DEAR HUMAN

These letters are written to remind you just how much you matter, just how important you are, and just how beautiful the gift of life as a human is.

Tanamannya

Tanaman, Alam Semulajadi Dan Yang Berkaitan

Specifier Review

Architecture, Design & Innovation

%d bloggers like this: