AM I THE ONLY ONE? Anyone Else Make Quarantine Escargot?

Common garden snail, Cornu aspersum.

By Karen England, the Edgehill Herb Farmer.

Snails! They’re what’s for lockdown kitchen dinner!

So much to celebrate coming off quarantine.

Not sure my family expected that I would serve them snails though, least of all for this momentous, reunited meal. My people are truly great sports and they savored every bite!

Serving homegrown homemade escargot!

Look what the quarantine made me do! It took a full week’s worth of work to accomplish; gathering 50 snails, purging them for five days on a lettuce only diet, then giving them a two day fast, all the while rinsing often ‘til they were ready to prepare for eating. Next they were boiled, de-shelled and cleaned before sautéing …

Escargot! Was it worth all the effort? YES! Will I ever do it again? Probably no.

It all started with the record breaking April rains that just happened to coincide with the quarantine. After the rains came what I can only describe as a “snailpocalypse” in my garden. All those snails, Carl Sagan billions of them, reminded me of a very funny story that chef Jacques Pepin tells in his memoir The Apprentice about gathering snails at a resort hotel where he was staying before teaching cooking classes in Northern California and I thought, if Jacques values these slime balls that much to teach people how to make escargot then I should take advantage of the endless supply literally at my kitchen door and learn to make some myself.

Karen was lucky enough to meet Jacques Pepin at a book signing in 1999 but no escargot was involved.

That’s what I did in quarantine. What did you make? I’m guessing sourdough and that you did not make snails for dinner. I’ve got the sneaking suspicion that I’m the only one…