Monday 2 June 2008

The Snail

Have you ever eaten snails? Well after my tour of inspection through the garden yesterday I thought I could start collecting them. We often get snails of all sorts in the garden. They are usually smallish and usually resemble something like this little group

three snails

Nothing that looks edible, I think they are known as the white banded snail. We get them all through the summer in our garden, but don't really seem to do any damage. It's the ones without houses known as slugs that really eat anything that is green and goes by the name of leaf. They are the ones I usually throw into the neighbour's garden or onto the field. No I do not pour salt over them, or drown them in beer, They have enough problems in their sluggish little life, although I suppose their mothers love them.


In the German language there is really only one word for snail "Schnecke" whether they have a house or not. They are just defined as snails with houses and snails without houses. So back to the object of this small snail monologue. I went on my usual evening inspection of the garden yesterday, examining the population sizes of ants, greenfly and yes snails and then I stopped in my tracks. I saw the snail of the year. I was so impressed that I took at least 10 photos and found the following one to be the best. I then decided to make him the centerpiece of my observation by taking all the colour out of the photo except for a couple of green leaves and giving him a frame.

I think this is a so called edible snail, known as escargot by the French and the "Weinbergschnecke" in the German language. I had only seen them up to now on a plate ready to be eaten sitting in a lake of melted herb butter. I had never actually seen one as close as this and believe me they are big, speaking in snail sizes. I do not know how he found his way into the garden. I of course took him inside the house to show my husband, who said yes it was a Weinbergschnecke and continued watching the television programme he was watching. I replaced him where I found him and hope that I had saved his life and that he would not arrive at a gala dinner. I have eaten snails but a few years ago and I did not find them any different to eating a winkle.

A winkle is the same sort of thing, but a water snail living in the sea. My mum would buy them on Sunday from the fish stall down the lane and put them on the plate in their shells. We were all give a safety pin and with a curling motion removed them from the shells at ate them. Things were not so dignified in the East End perhaps, but it was the normal way to do it.

So as grand finale here is my edible "Weinberg" snail as I found him in the garden.

Garden snail

No comments:

Post a Comment