If you’d have told me when I was 15 years old, that one day in the future I’d willingly be sat in a restaurant in the Loire Valley region of France, ready to eat snails – I would have laughed right in your face. ‘That’s ridiculous’, I’d say, ‘You’re crazy!’, I’d add – then I’d run away from you screaming ‘stranger danger! stranger danger!’.
Fast forward to me, age 27 and whilst working as an activity courier for Canvas at the Les Alicourts resort in France, a few us decided we’d like to try eating snails (or escargot) for the first time. I’ve become pretty adventurous in recent years, and still, the idea of eating slimy creatures that crawl all over the garden made me nervous… but hell, I’ll try anything once.
My friends and I split an order of Garlic Snails (Yes, I know how gross that sounds) and we each had one or two. I managed one. The shells had already been removed for us, so it was just a case of chew and swallow …and try not to vomit.
This is the point at which I’d like to tell you that ‘I don’t know what I was so nervous about’, or ‘The French delicacy was a delight!’, but unfortunately, snails taste like rubber. It tasted like I was trying to chew rotten rubber covered in garlic sauce, but because in my head, I still had the image of a common garden snail sat in my mouth, It also made me want to wretch. I tried to act cultured, I put on a brave face and swallowed. I’m proud to admit I did not vomit, but I really think I’ll stick to onion rings as a starter from now on.