Most sound minded individuals outside of France shudder at the thought of eating a snail. Being that I'm neither from France, nor sound of mind, I've been wanting to try properly prepared escargot for a long time. My only experience with consuming gastropods took place a few years ago when I picked up a couple cans of snails on sale. The experience was less than pleasing and rather dampened my enthusiasm to experiment further but, seeing as though they weren't authentically prepared, I wanted to give the little critters another go.
Being presented with a bowl of steaming snails shells is odd in itself. Picking up the tiny fork and pulling the little slug through its hole to the world is even stranger. A lot firmer than one would expect, escargot has a consistency and texture similar to scallops as opposed to the slimy, softness of an oyster as I was imagining. Biting into one isn't all too unpleasant as may be presumed.
It's incredibly difficult for me to describe the flavor. The garlic and butter from the sauce was a bit dominant but the snail itself, apart from one strong note, is fairly bland. I remember that one strong flavor from my previous, canned experience and had been hoping that it was a component of the marinade but, alas, I was left disappointed. Bitter, but not the kind of bitterness one associates with a strong coffee, hoppy beer, or dark chocolate. This bitterness almost comes across as a direct signal to my mind that it may be unwise to ingest this creature and perhaps I should not proceed any further. But proceed I did until all of the little blighters were gone, their shells empty as my desire to repeat the experience.
So perhaps the taste doesn't quite suit my palette (unrefined as it is) but I am altogether happy to have given it a shot. So, unless banana slugs really do taste like bananas, I think gastropods might be out for me; though I'm quite prepared to continue foraying into the realm of edible "bugs" and such.