We casually browsed through Neatorama’s list of the 10 weirdest foods last month and sort of categorically dismissed it as post-fodder, since we’d already heard of most of the items (ortolan, huitlacoche, balut) and figured you probably had too. The one that had us slow down for a second look was snail caviar:
The process to making snail caviar is a carefully guarded secret by the couple who invented it. We do know it involves very happy snails getting freaky in a huge barn and a hand review all of the eggs to make sure they are up to par. Between there being only one supplier and requiring quite tedious harvesting, all done by hand, the price of the snail caviar is quite high -about $82 an ounce to be more specific.
And then like five seconds ago, Chef Curtis Duffy of Avenues threw up a photo of a dish at the restaurant called Blue Cod, Carrot, Fennel, Quince, Snail Caviar. The post’s since been taken down and replaced with another fish-and-eggs construction, “Golden Trout and Roe, Semillion Verjus, Hon Shimeji, Winter Spruce.” We’re hoping to see more of this snail caviar dish, though — it was just an image, and with luck Duffy pulled it so he can add a little bit of background about its wackadoodle ingredients. The post is happily plopped at the top of the page, but Duffy pays more attention to the preparation of the cod (blah blah sous vide) and doesn’t even go into the insane rad awesomeness that is SNAIL FREAKING CAVIAR.
Nevertheless, we will not be thwarted by those who choose to take down their super-fascinating photographs of food! The handy powers of Firefox Restore have gifted us with the image. The snail eggs are the white spheres that look like giant couscous or tiny onions:
Since Avenues’ menu is priced into tasting-menu categories, and isn’t by the dish, we’re not sure how the $82/oz wholesale figure for the snail caviar resolves itself. But it might be worth it just for being able to tell your friends about it the next day.
Blue Cod, Carrot, Fennel, Quince, Snail Caviar [DuffBlog]
Golden Trout and Roe, Semillion Verjus, Hon Shimeji, Winter Spruce [DuffBlog]
Avenues [Official Site]