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Old July 11th, 2014, 01:02 PM
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Default Escargot is threatened

France's snails have been contaminated with the New Guinea flatworm, which could "wipe out" snail populations

Escargot, one of France's signature dishes and my favorite on cruises could follow the dodo.

Snails, one of France's signature dishes, could be off the menu if the country fails to stem an invasion by a slimy worm from Southeast Asia, scientists warned on Tuesday.

The warning is being sounded over a voracious species called the New Guinea flatworm.

It is already on a list of the 100 most dangerous invasive species in the world as it has a relentless appetite for native snails and earthworms in places where it has been introduced.

Reporting in the journal PeerJ on Tuesday, a team of French experts said DNA tests had confirmed their worst fears: Platydemus manokwari has arrived in Europe.

"This species is extraordinarily invasive," said Jean-Lou Justine of the National Museum of Natural History. "I really hope it can be stopped at the earliest stages."
He added: "All snails in Europe could be wiped out.
"Platydemus manokwari represents a new and significant threat to biodiversity in France and Europe, which hosts hundreds of species of snails, some of which are endangered and protected," said PeerJ, a publisher of peer-reviewed studies.

I hope they can save the escargot.
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Old July 11th, 2014, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by bonnyprincecharlie View Post
France's snails have been contaminated with the New Guinea flatworm, which could "wipe out" snail populations

Escargot, one of France's signature dishes and my favorite on cruises could follow the dodo.

Snails, one of France's signature dishes, could be off the menu if the country fails to stem an invasion by a slimy worm from Southeast Asia, scientists warned on Tuesday.

The warning is being sounded over a voracious species called the New Guinea flatworm.

It is already on a list of the 100 most dangerous invasive species in the world as it has a relentless appetite for native snails and earthworms in places where it has been introduced.

Reporting in the journal PeerJ on Tuesday, a team of French experts said DNA tests had confirmed their worst fears: Platydemus manokwari has arrived in Europe.

"This species is extraordinarily invasive," said Jean-Lou Justine of the National Museum of Natural History. "I really hope it can be stopped at the earliest stages."
He added: "All snails in Europe could be wiped out.
"Platydemus manokwari represents a new and significant threat to biodiversity in France and Europe, which hosts hundreds of species of snails, some of which are endangered and protected," said PeerJ, a publisher of peer-reviewed studies.

I hope they can save the escargot.



Not to worry.
Escargot have been in short supply for the past 18 months.
My company already has a backup plan in place.
We marinate pencil erasers in herb garlic butter and serve them as we usually serve the escargot. Better texture and slightly more pronounced flavor. So far, none of our "gourmands" has been able to tell the difference.
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Old July 11th, 2014, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Bruce Chafkin1 View Post
Not to worry.
Escargot have been in short supply for the past 18 months.
My company already has a backup plan in place.
We marinate pencil erasers in herb garlic butter and serve them as we usually serve the escargot. Better texture and slightly more pronounced flavor. So far, none of our "gourmands" has been able to tell the difference.
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Old July 11th, 2014, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Chafkin1 View Post
Not to worry.
Escargot have been in short supply for the past 18 months.
My company already has a backup plan in place.
We marinate pencil erasers in herb garlic butter and serve them as we usually serve the escargot. Better texture and slightly more pronounced flavor. So far, none of our "gourmands" has been able to tell the difference.
I've always suspected this since cruise ships never seem able to serve it in the shells, not that that would be absolute proof of the genuine article but at least it would look more authentic. I suspect too many cruise ship 'gourmands' wouldn't know how to get the snails out of the shells, and thus the magical little serving dishes sans snail shells.
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Old July 11th, 2014, 09:42 PM
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I've always suspected this since cruise ships never seem able to serve it in the shells, not that that would be absolute proof of the genuine article but at least it would look more authentic. I suspect too many cruise ship 'gourmands' wouldn't know how to get the snails out of the shells, and thus the magical little serving dishes sans snail shells.
Seriously, the USPH people have forbidden snail shells as serving utensils on ships. It is impossible to clean out the butter that works it's way to the bottom of the shells. Then the butter gets rancid and people get sick.

Oddly, there are many places in North America that still use the shells - and so far no mass poisonings have been reported.
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Old July 11th, 2014, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Bruce Chafkin1 View Post
Seriously, the USPH people have forbidden snail shells as serving utensils on ships. It is impossible to clean out the butter that works it's way to the bottom of the shells. Then the butter gets rancid and people get sick.

Oddly, there are many places in North America that still use the shells - and so far no mass poisonings have been reported.

Thanks for the information, and I'm not surprised to learn that the USPH has such a stupid rule. They've kept many good things away from us that are universally loved outside the U.S. borders. Spanish and Italian air cured hams are a prime example. Funny how I've eaten a lot of them in Europe and other places, and never keeled over dead from the experience.
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Old July 12th, 2014, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Bruce Chafkin1 View Post
Seriously, the USPH people have forbidden snail shells as serving utensils on ships. It is impossible to clean out the butter that works it's way to the bottom of the shells. Then the butter gets rancid and people get sick.

Oddly, there are many places in North America that still use the shells - and so far no mass poisonings have been reported.
OK, really dumb question from one who has never eaten escargot, and probably never will, but doesn't every snail come with it's own shell? You wouldn't cook and serve it in the shell ( like lobster ) and then discard the shell? You actually save some shells and then reuse them?? Surely not. Or are you just saying that between cooking and serving the butter in the shells can go bad?

What would the difference be between serving escargot in the shell and serving lobster in the shell? No butter added to the lobster in the cooking process?

PS. I told the husband maybe we should consider starting an escargot farm in the basement, like some grow earthworms. We might be able to save the species and maybe make a killing selling them to fine restaurants and cruise ships..
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Old July 14th, 2014, 06:53 PM
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OK, really dumb question from one who has never eaten escargot, and probably never will, but doesn't every snail come with it's own shell? You wouldn't cook and serve it in the shell ( like lobster ) and then discard the shell? You actually save some shells and then reuse them?? Surely not. Or are you just saying that between cooking and serving the butter in the shells can go bad?

What would the difference be between serving escargot in the shell and serving lobster in the shell? No butter added to the lobster in the cooking process?

PS. I told the husband maybe we should consider starting an escargot farm in the basement, like some grow earthworms. We might be able to save the species and maybe make a killing selling them to fine restaurants and cruise ships..
Processing snails for human consumption is difficult, expensive, and time consuming.
In a good restaurant, the snails are purchased live. They are then starved for several days until they have eliminated all body wastes. Then they are removed from their shells using a very strange tool that can reach into the coiled recesses of their shells. Quite a few of the shells are broken in the process. Then the snails are cooked while live, with lots of herbs.
Then the shells are stuffed with herbed butter, the pre-cooked snails are placed on top, and finally the whole thing is heated to melt the butter. The snails sink into the herbed butter just before they are served. When snails are prepared this way, you can actually taste the snail itself - as well as the herb butter or whatever sauce is served with them
But most restaurants - and most diners - cannot afford the prices for snails prepared this way.
Most restaurants - and all cruise lines - do it the cheap way. The snails are processed in a factory somewhere, cooked, and canned. The shells are cleaned and sold separately. Often, the shells are more expensive than the canned snails.
There are quite a few States that do not allow restaurants to re-use snail shells more than once. USPH will not allow the cruise lines to use the shells at all.
Serving escargot "Burgundy style" requires shells and herb butter. Many venues have opted for cheaper ceramic serving dishes that are easily cleaned - and approved by the various health departments.

Unfortunately, snails that have been cooked in a large factory and then stored in a can for many years before they are consumed have little to zero taste. it is only the herb butter they are normally served with that has any flavor.
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Old July 15th, 2014, 10:20 AM
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Thanks, for the education!

You have now reinforced my opinion that ordering escargot is not something that I am ever likely to do!
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Old July 19th, 2014, 06:52 PM
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Thanks, for the education!

You have now reinforced my opinion that ordering escargot is not something that I am ever likely to do!
lol, I feel the same way ! I've already combed through the Steakhouse menu for my December Freedom cruise and the escargot was my first choice. I even asked if they were good on another social media site, lol.
No worries, this will give me an excuse to look at the menu again

Lyannea
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Old July 20th, 2014, 11:53 AM
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Heck, if you throw enough garlic and butter on anything it's good.

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Old July 21st, 2014, 06:50 AM
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Heck, if you throw enough garlic and butter on anything it's good.

Take care,
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Of course. I'd eat cardboard if it had garlic and butter on it.
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Old July 24th, 2014, 05:52 AM
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Default I would eat most anything if soaked with garlic and butter

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Of course. I'd eat cardboard if it had garlic and butter on it.
Garlic and butter are so good on anything, but I love them on escargots.
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