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Escargot
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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Downsizer Forum Index -> Shooting and Trapping for the Pot
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Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 05 4:50 pm    Post subject: Escargot  Reply with quote    

In know we've mentioned eating our large garden snails, Helix aspersa, so I thought it was time to start their own thread!

Firstly, has anyone tried them? Are they actually worth eating or are they slimy?

I've been keeping an eye out for nice large ones (quite rare in our garden after 4 years of hen activity) and have recently seen a few. Is there a season for them, i.e. I assume they are not best eaten while hibernating so it's probably best to wait for them to tuck in to some nice spring veg.

How long do you need to purge them for and is it as simple as leaving them with some dandelion leaves for 3-4 days?

Anyone fancy joining me in a downsizer escargot challenge?

Of course putting the post in here I expect a few jokes about what the legal method of shooting them but I'm not sure where else to post this.

Bernie66



Joined: 14 Jan 2005
Posts: 13967
Location: Eastoft
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 05 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

"Purged" on lettuce and fried in butter with garlic-were either very nice or alot nicer than i expected when i bit the bullet* and tried them.Don't know whether the purging is for taste or to ensure that any insecticde they have or may have been eating has been cleared out of their system-could not taste the lettuce!

*Not a bullet used to shoot them -a spare lying around after the massacre

Bernie66



Joined: 14 Jan 2005
Posts: 13967
Location: Eastoft
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 05 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Maybe if we caught them in beer traps aimed at the slug population?????????

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 05 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

A fresh beer trap may be a good way to catch 'em.

I think they are purged in case they may have eaten something that could be poisonous to us. Not sure though, so if anyone does know please tell.

Gervase



Joined: 17 Nov 2004
Posts: 8655

PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 05 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You want the grit on purging? Try here
.

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 05 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I tend to wait till later to eat snails, but that's cos I'm mean. I wait till my first lettuce looks like going to seed, then I've got something to purge the little blighters with.

Purge them for, say, four or five days, then starve them for a day. Pick them out of the bucket and have a good look at them, make sure there's signs of life, then pop them in a colander for a little wash. they'll scoot back into their shells, then you can drop them into boiling water for a few minutes. They'll pop out of the shells right enough, then you can pull them out and have a look at your harvest.

I like to chop them and add them into a risotto with wild mushrooms. No set recipe; whatever shrooms I have fresh, some dried boletus or puffball for good measure (the flavour complements snail well), some wine, cream, garlic, plenty of parsley and a sprig of thyme, and of course no risotto is complete without cheese. But fiddle about with the flavours, get it how you like it. Sorrel goes really well with snail.

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 05 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Treacodactyl wrote:

I think they are purged in case they may have eaten something that could be poisonous to us. Not sure though, so if anyone does know please tell.


While I guess that's possible, it's unlikely. The reason to purge them is evident in the fact that they're gastropods. The word. They're all gut and foot

They're really, really efficient at digesting plant matter, and of course that means they're always full of partially digested plant. You've no way of separating out their guts, so you purge and starve to empty the guts out. Or accept that you're eating part formed snail excreta, your choice

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 05 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

So why do you feed them lettuce to purge them for a few days, why not simply starve them for a day and eat?

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 05 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Treacodactyl wrote:
So why do you feed them lettuce to purge them for a few days, why not simply starve them for a day and eat?


Because starvation isn't the same as purging. Lettuce acts as a purgative, or so I'm told. Starve them you merely slow them down, they'll retain their gut contents for a while. Feed them something like lettuce and you empty them out. Starve them and the last of the purgative falls out.

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 05 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Ah, that makes sense, thanks.

ButteryHOLsomeness



Joined: 03 Apr 2005
Posts: 770

PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 05 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

thanks for starting this subject

i love escargot so i'd be happy to look around our communal gardens and see if can find some

never having had a problem with them i'm not really sure where to look, any ideas?

as for how to cook them... i've always enjoyed mine lightly sauteed in garlic butter and served with capers mmmmmmmm

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 05 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

ButteryHOLsomeness wrote:
never having had a problem with them i'm not really sure where to look, any ideas?


Shhh... you'll make many gardeners jealous.

I've never had a problem, I just pop out at dusk or when it's been raining and the garden can be crawling with them. I've always lived on alkaline soils and I think snails are far more common on that. So if you live on acid soil you tend to get less.

If you find any make sure they've not been near slug pellets.

I'll post up some pics over the weekend.

Bernie66



Joined: 14 Jan 2005
Posts: 13967
Location: Eastoft
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 05 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

damp spots, and usually underneath stones, in crevaces or sheltered spots. or in vegetable gardens- lift any boulders and look at the underside of sheds etc. Go out just after heavy rain which has broken a dry spell and you will catch them on the move

ButteryHOLsomeness



Joined: 03 Apr 2005
Posts: 770

PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 05 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Treacodactyl wrote:
ButteryHOLsomeness wrote:
never having had a problem with them i'm not really sure where to look, any ideas?


Shhh... you'll make many gardeners jealous.

I've never had a problem, I just pop out at dusk or when it's been raining and the garden can be crawling with them. I've always lived on alkaline soils and I think snails are far more common on that. So if you live on acid soil you tend to get less.

If you find any make sure they've not been near slug pellets.

I'll post up some pics over the weekend.


thanks that's helpful

i live in scotland, which tends towards acid soil... how closely related to slugs are garden snails? the acid soil doesn't seem to bother the slugs one iota i couldn't believe how HUGE slugs get in scotland, they're massive

can you eat slugs?

don't think i could bring myself to do so, but if it was absolutely necessary to survive it would be a good thing to know if you could

ButteryHOLsomeness



Joined: 03 Apr 2005
Posts: 770

PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 05 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Bernie66 wrote:
damp spots, and usually underneath stones, in crevaces or sheltered spots. or in vegetable gardens- lift any boulders and look at the underside of sheds etc. Go out just after heavy rain which has broken a dry spell and you will catch them on the move


excellent i'll do that, we've had quite a lot of rain like that recently

i'll just have to be sure not to slip on a slug whilst i'm doing it (nasty little beasties )

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