For two weeks this post has been in my head and I have finally decided to post it.
It was a critical time in my life and best friend’s too. We had been struck by a bizarre affliction called peppersnailedcravingitis. It is a very serious condition and can only be cured by the copious consumption of juicy, plump, tasty giant snails. This are the mammoth cousins of the Escargots favored by the French and although I do not query the French delicacy, their peppered cousins are nothing short of magical.
With rainy season in full swing, here in Nigeria, there really is no shortage of these delicious mollusks.
In our quest to find a cure, we ventured to the Protea Hotel in Ikoyi (Protea Westwood) and ordered their peppered snails with a side of chips.
When it arrived it was cuit à point! That’s French for “cooked to perfection”. It was tender with the slightest hint of crunch. The balance of the hot chillies to the sweet crunchy onion left our palettes in a happy gastronomic wonderland. The chips made a good showing too but I assure it was all about the snails!
The only blight on this meal was the chapman we ordered; it just didn’t come to the party. It was an odd tasting aspertine laden beverage…..moving swiftly along. Meal duly inhaled we wondered off, sated and replete….until the craving hit again a few days later.
This time we hastily rendezvoused at Terra Kulture a trendy place that gives very good insight into Nigerian culture through its plays, fashion and food.
After a cursory look at the menu, I ordered peppered snails and fried sweet potatoes, my bestie may have had a lapse in concentration, or maybe she was partially cured, because she ordered some mixed grill platter which was DOA. The dish was wrong! Wrong!! WRONG!!! What was represented on the menu was not what arrived on the plate and there were others issues…….however my plate was the picture of perfection.
The sweet potatoes were crunchy on the outside but moist and fluffy on the inside and the snails were well seasoned and tasty. A little bit more tender than I would have liked but it was still an enjoyable meal. The chapman was very well balanced and sufficiently refreshing. Again we parted ways feeling quite pleased with our snail binge.
After a brief hiatus, we decided an encore at Protea was necessary….we really shouldn’t have; the chef seemed to have been in a foul mood. There was so much chilli in the snails that our lips were numb, or tongues pulverized and we were perspiring like we were in sauna. After that meal trust me, we were cured for life!
Then I got home that evening and a dear, dear friend who knew of my obsession with snails brought over a generous portion; perfectly peppered and cooked. Any guesses as to what I had for dinner? 🙂