You take the toothpick, then pull the flesh out like this… And {tock!} with the cluck of her tongue, our waitress demonstrated how to remove the cooked morsel and dip it into aïoli. These sea snails were among the offerings in a self-service cold buffet. Who would’ve thought that we’d discover a new edible at a french truckstop diner?

Bulot (whelk in english and buccina in italian) is sort of like eating escargot. It’s a snail — you either love it or leave it. We picked up a kilo from the supermarket just before returning to Italy. Cooking them wasn’t much different than for other shellfish – briefly in salted water and seasonings. They tasted better when cold though, along with a dipping bowl of garlicky mayo and cold beer. The bulot pictured above is about 1½ times the original.

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