In my youth, early on in the relationship with my boyfriend, Eric we made our way to a remote island off Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia, for a summer vacation. We were due to meet up with the rest of the family later that week. When I say “remote”, this meant an island with no electricity, no hotels, no restaurants and the closest thing to a store was scarcely bigger than an American bathroom. My boyfriend came from a very wealthy family who was used to enjoying dinners from their in-home resident French chef. But that week we were roughing it.
The choices in the store of things to eat were mostly wine, cheese, and some dried meats. This was an island where it’s inhabitants lived off the land. The change in our diet took some getting used to, and then we hit pay-dirt.
We were hiking one day through some fields when Eric joyfully exclaimed,
“Escargot my favorite!”
The field was littered with hundreds of these snail-like creatures. I confess that I had never been a fan of escargot. No amount of garlic could disguise my repugnance for those little snail horns.
“Garlic and red wine are all we need,” Eric said, already enthusiastically gathering them up. “We will have enough to eat for dinner at least 2 days.”
“Well, at least one,” I countered doubtfully. “Are you sure these are Escargot?”
“Escargot for sure. Our lucky day,” he said with certainty.
What can I say? I cooked up vast amounts of our find from the fields. Eric was smacking his lips and I was gamely eating this new dish, trying not to look at the little horns, not gagging, and just getting through the meal. Eric declared me to a fabulous cook and commended me for my adventurous new eating. I was making the grade with him.
Later that week, I met Eric’s mother and Eric extolled the cooking skills of his new girlfriend. He explained to his mother very proudly that we had dined on Escargot which we had gathered from the fields.
His Mother replied,
“I hate to break the news to you darlings, but those were not Escargot. You filled your tummies with garden snails!”
I knew it. My stomach turned at the thought of having eaten hundreds of those revolting garden slugs. I still do not eat Escargot, NEVER, not even in the name of love!