Slugs In The Kitchen? On One TV Show, Yes |

Slugs In The Kitchen? On One TV Show, Yes

Any chef, French or otherwise, understands the snail’s culinary potential. But what about the slug?

Accustomed to escargot, we usually see snails as a delicacy, and slugs as only a garden pest. But one British chef insists that the slimy creatures have their own uses in the kitchen. Television chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, star of the UK program “River Cottage,” devised a number of dishes for his popular show that incorporate the slug into home cooking—whether stewed, fried, or boiled.

As the Telegraph reports, he uses a bath of hot water and vinegar to remove the slime from the slugs’ soft, muscular bodies, before launching into preparations that include a spicy “slug satay,” a slug fritter, slug with herb stuffing, and slugs swimming in tomato sauce. Not only a novel culinary venture, but a typically British slight to the French.

Is he entirely serious? It’s not clear—though he does compare the slug to the far more frequently consumed snail, at one point, Fearnley-Whittingstall admits that its taste is not particularly appealing. That said, eating slugs isn’t unheard of; sea slugs, in particular, are often eaten, and many land-scouting foragers in the United States and elsewhere have found that, once fried or boiled, slugs become little different than snails.

For Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, and for chefs accustomed to more conventional proteins, the snail may be a culinary long shot. Still, it’s fun to remember that there are many more proteins in this world than we might consider.


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