Saturday, July 21, 2012

Gross or Glorious?

I saw these at my local Whole Foods, and I couldn't decide whether I was repulsed or charmed by them.  There's something discordant about the earth-tone snail shells and the nearly neon green filling.  Yet, they're rather pretty and almost look like candy.  At first glance, I thought they were marzipan snails with pistachio paste slipped by accident into seafood case.

They are, in case you're wondering, White Toque Escargots.  I'd never heard of them.  I'm familiar with escargots, of course, but not White Toque Escargots, whatever that means.

Turns out, it's a brand name.  According to their website, White Toque s the leading importer of European specialty products to the food service trade in the United States.  They sell to 250 distributors and wholesalers worldwide, of which Whole Foods is apparently one.  I was a bit disappointed to learn this.  I was under the impression that Whole Foods made all of its specialty items on site.  Guess that's not the case.

The green coloring comes from parsley.  Snail meat is removed from wild Helix snail shells and mixed with the parsley, butter, garlic, salt and red pepper. The filling is then piped back into the shells.
I didn't buy any while I was there, and I'm not sure I want to go back for them.  How do you eat them once you get 'em home? Suck out the filling with a straw? Scoop it out with a tiny spoon?  Channel your inner Gene Simmons and use your tongue?

Nah, I'll just feast with my eyes, rather than my mouth.

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