Embedded image permalink To celebrate the launch of their new menu Cafe Rouge appointed me the UK's first snail sommelier and asked me to help promote their new dish Ragout d'Escargots. Snails go very well with mushrooms and I predict the addition of truffle oil will make it irresistible.

Snails are so good for you! They don't store fat - though serving them in lashings of garlic butter probably cancels that out. But they are solid protein and full of good things like trace elements and vitamins.

Sommelier is a lovely word that I just had to look up. You probably associate it with wine but in Japan it is linked with other good things to eat. There you will find beer, sake and even vegetable sommeliers. I have read that they also apply the term to other sorts of experts such as music: in Japan you could be a music sommelier. But the derivation is so old that the modern usage has moved a long way from it. In Middle French it is associated with the transportation of supplies and dates back to a time when transport of goods used pack animals like donkeys. So in old Provencal a saumalier was a pack animal driver. I like the sound of that.

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