Did you know that snails are traditionally eaten at Lent? It springs from the notion that if it's a mollusc it must be seafood and therfore by extension theologically classified as 'fish'. Monks were very good at getting round the rules it seems and calling snails 'wallfish' was a good strategy. So they could be eaten on Fridays and Lent was an opportunity not be missed for a positive escargot bonanza! In mild weather like this, after all that interminable rain, snails should be easy to find. They'll be emerging from their winter hibernation all over the place and if you can catch them before they start eating they won't need purging either.

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sleeping snail with the 'duvet' pulled over its head

This is a busy time of year for seasonal snail farmers as it's the beginning of the breeding season. As soon as they emerge from hibernation the snails will be cleaning their shells and hanging about in a public place waiting for a potential mate to pass by. As Cahal Milmo said in his recent lovely article in the Independent, British snail famers just can't keep up with demand from customers for home grown escargots. So if you are thinking about joining this select band of enthusiasts why not come on a snail farming course and learn how to do it? http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/news/snails-farmers-just-cant-keep-up-with-demand-from-british-diners-9057148.html

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