I began to chew the snail and then was beset by doubt

He was most likely either helix aspersa or helix pomatia, though I can’t be sure.

These are the ones native to France, and I met him at Pigalle, which is run I think by a highly decorated American pretending to be French. And which has a fun website. And which is named after the red-light district in Paris.

Viewing this picture will help contextualize the following.

He was served with two friends and some lobster, in a broth of lemongrass and other seasonings.

He was black, and large, in a bowl of green soup. There was no way to tiptoe into the experience. You couldn’t hide him in a big spoonful of broth and pretend he wasn’t there.

So I ate him.

There was nothing particularly strange about the texture. Chewy, yes. (Apparently escargots are cooked for 8 hours to make them manageable.)

My wife pointed out that it was much like a clam, and that helped a little.

But I cannot tell a lie. Once I started to chew, I had second thoughts.

Though it was all in my head, the outcome was not entirely certain until the deed was done.

And I did not eat his friends.