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.