This youtube video was shown in my French class last week. It is an episode of I Love Lucy where Lucy is in a restaurant in Paris. This scene is hilarious and watching it sent me looking for my escargot tongs.
Once, while visiting my family in Palermo, I watched as my cousin prepared for cooking a bucket full of small snails (they're called babbaluciu in Sicilian) that she had gathered at her property. I don't remember all the details of the prep work and the cooking method, but I do recall that they were placed in a container, with a large amount of salt poured over and left there for a day or two, I think. The snails were not removed from the shell but cooked whole in seasoned water and served in soup bowls. Since they were small they were picked out of the shells with toothpicks.
I could not stomach watching my relatives eating the babbaluciu but this scene reminded me of my Sicilian grandfather who introduced me to eating escargot when I was a child. I wasn't all that crazy about eating them as much as I loved soaking the crusty bread in the garlicky buttery sauce.
I haven’t had an escargot in 30 years and I’m not planning on changing that, even if my French class teacher offers me extra credit for eating one. ;)