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Triumph of the Snails



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Jo writes: “My 79-yea-old mother loves frog legs. Do you have any suggestions on where to go for such a delicacy? She lives in the White Bear Lake area.”

I immediately recommended the frog legs at Cave Vin, the often-overlooked restaurant along the Edina/South Minneapolis borderlands. I love those frogs legs. They’re garlicky, fat, yummy—the epitome of what frog’s legs should be.

Then I set about looking for something closer to Jo’s mother’s house. Surely there were frogs legs—that Kennedy-era epitome of Continental cool—somewhere closer to White Bear Lake?

I looked to what I thought were the likeliest suspects, places that still serve a Kennedy-era clientele. The Lexington? Nope, escargot. I looked to French places. Vincent? Nope, escargot. Pierre’s Bistro? Nope, escargot.

So, in case anyone was wondering: Snails 3, Frogs 1. Sometime in the last decade, frogs were eclipsed by snails. Whether this is good news for frogs I couldn’t say. The frogs and snails served in restaurants are farmed, so you can put this in the great question as to whether it’s better to have never been born or born to be eaten.

Finally, I did find another place in town that serves frogs’ legs: Jensen’s Supperclub.

But if you like frogs’ legs, my advice is to get ‘em now. These things are going the way of the dodo.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for an exciting career in a growth-area of sustainable food, why not become an escargot rancher? I read they eat radish leaves and have sex organs where you’d figure their ears would be.

And that wraps up this episode’s edition of snail-related news, check back in 20 or 30 years to see if something has changed. 

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Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

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