Tuesday, May 24, 2011

To Snail Or Not To Snail

That was the question, for me at least, while dining at Balthazar Restaurant in New York City a couple of years ago.

A bunch of us girls got together and flew to NYC to be part of the Martha Stewart Shows studio audience for a show about "Girlfriends." I tried my hardest to get reservations at Babbo, even getting up at 2:00am to start calling right at 5:00am EST, when the restaurant listed it would start taking reservation calls for the day. I also had to call exactly 30 days in advance, and although we struck out on Babbo, we got in at the groups other coveted restaurant - Balthazar.

My friend Angela loves everything to do with France and since we WERE at a French restaurant, she wanted to eat like the French and try the Escargot. Although we are quite adventurous food-eaters, not a single one of us seven ladies had tried snails before. And honestly, being a gardener myself, the thought of eating one of the little yellow critters I toss when I find 'em hanging on my Clematis Vines, kinda creeped me out.

Since we had already downed a couple bottles of wine and the buzz of the wine coupled with the thrill of being in New York City together had gone straight to our heads, we all decided that it would be the perfect time and place to slurp back a slimy snail. To Snail it would be!

And you know what? It really wasn't all that bad. It tasted like herb-infused garlic butter. The texture, on the other hand, not my favorite thing in the world but definitely not something I'd stick my nose up if ever dining at Brasserie Le Halles or Le Bernardin. And now we can all say that we've tried escargot.

So on this 24th of May - National Escargot Day - go ahead and slurp back a slimy snail or two - that way you can say you've had it and will never have to try it again. (Hey, you can even come take all the snails you want out of my yard, they might not be the culinary treat of French chefs, but they sure would help my brussel sprouts and cauliflower from being eaten alive.)

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