Most people think of France when escargot is mentioned and probably don’t think of it being a Somerset delicacy.
This high protein, low carb, low fat food source is really popular in many parts of Europe, including Spain, Italy and Greece. It’s a luxury dish in fine dining restaurants in cities like London and has an interesting history, right here in Somerset.
Records of snail eating in Somerset stretch back as far as Roman times and is known as Mendip Wallfish locally.
It’s prepared using herbs, butter and cider, instead of garlic, like the French.
It was popularised in the 1960’s by the chef Paul Leyton. And later it was taken up by the team at the Miner’s Arms in Priddy where the dish was in high demand, with around 4000 snail dishes a year being served in the late 1990’s.
This delightful film shows how escargot was served in the 1960’s and 70’s.
And here, how a lovely man from the village would forage in the Mendip Hills for the biggest escargot to be served in the restaurant.
Since the pub closed in the late 1990’s we think it’s time to reinstate this local dish.
Check this link here for the recipe.