Day 54: Snails/geri-gugli

I don’t know if it is a French influence on Bengali cuisine or Bengali influence on French cuisine – or if this existed from ancient times… heard of “geri-gugli”?

Edible pond/water snails, clams and mussels – are called “geri-gugli” in Bengali. Once considered a delicacy – these days the “Babu”-s frown at snails and clams – as during rainy season in Bengal these are what poor people have to depend on when they cannot get rice or bread. Shapla, Shaluk, (water lily) Shamuk (mussels), Geri-Gugli (water-snails) are delicacies. Slowly being forgotten in the metropole. It is tasty, contains nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, and absolutely miraculous against cold and fever when cooked in garlic and ginger spice with a dash of mustard oil. But such is the high-nosed society of Calcutta, they would rather travel to Vietnam to try it as street food and Paris to have it served by a judgemental waiter – than go back to the roots and learn how to make it at home and serve it with hot Basmati rice with a dash of ghee!

To be frank, these days I have been craving geri-gugli. So I bought a frozen COOP version of it, “Escal Frozen Snails”! Sigh. It was delicious.

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