August 28, 2005
Slow Food... Slow Down
The symbol of Slow Food Movement is the snail.
Today as we were driving down the our village, Certaldo, to have our Sunday morning cappuccino, pastry and buy the paper, we saw quite a few cars parked along the country road.
Next week, hunting season starts so there were hunters, without their guns, out with their dogs, looking around. There were also lots of men and women armed with plastic bags.
In Italy, they have some wonderful sayings.
Chickens when they eat, have their heads down and butts up... Buco Pilonzeri, so here were all these people..
buco pilonzeri, gathering something!
These are my kind of hunters. I always stop to see what they are foraging for;often wild asparagus, dandelion greens, nettle or other unknown local delicacies.
Last night we had a huge rain storm and todays gift from nature... snails!
I loved snails, until one day many years ago when I had just arrived in Italy, a friend decided to throw a Snail Pot Luck dinner, he supplied the snails from his country house, already purged and ready to cook.
I heated up some salted water and threw my snails in... AHHHHHHH they tried to escape!
I threw the lid on the pan and left!
When they were done, I removed them from the shells, sauteed them in garlic and olive oil, pureed them and rolled the paste up in blanched spinach leaves. How French of me!
When we arrived at the party, the table was filled with everyone's creations.
I overheard my friend saying that he didn't think my snails were cooked enough, I looked over and there was a live snail crawling over my dish!
I lost my appetite.
I did eat snails again until visiting my friend Kate near Agen in France.
She took us on her barge to a snail festival down the river, it was fabulous.
My favorite version was cooked in a large paella pan. The snails were stewed in a fabulous rich beefy ragu.
In London, I had a great snail-less version of snails!
Using the clay dish that snails are usually served in, they sauteed mussels in garlic and butter, topped with breadcrumbs and baked! Much nicer.
Slow down... your movin' too fast.
Come to tuscany and slow down and sip the wine, savor a coffee, or join someone in the field with your buco pilonzeri!