Snail-eating in Spain or Phar Lap’s heart viewing in Australia?


Yes, that Rick Stein’s on TV showing his food show on mass snail eating in Spain really got me hungry, so I put on a large pork roast and barbequed it for two hours with lots of pumpkin and spuds. Loads of oregano. It was almost as nice as those snails in Spain. I got a bottle of Penfold’s, St Henri Shiraz for father’s day, a 2006 number which we will keep for our diamond wedding anniversary. Does anyone remember the date we got married?

Only the unadulterated happiness of the Spanish people could get 12 000 together in a mass snail eating event. Something like 12 tons of snails were consumed with lots of garlic, laughter and copious amounts of wine in between. I could not imagine anything like that happening here in Australia. True, since last week they have discovered new bits of Phar Lap’s heart kept for decades at another museum. I believe there are now queues of people lining up to see this special jar with his pickled heart now complete. I doubt though we could muster twelve thousand people together eating Big Ben pies or those delicious Lamingtons.

For those who are ignorant about our proud heritage, Phar Lap was a horse that could outrun all other horses. He was a true champion and regarded as one of our Icons not unlike the Big Banana in Northern New South Wales or the Big Merino cement sheep in Goulburn.

The big banana

Was it our previous PM John Howard, who insisted newcomers to this country had to know some of our glorious history including the weight of Phar Lap’s heart and able to recite a poem in reverence to his galloping stride? I have a gnawing doubt; Was it to do with cricket scores or something else instead?



Our own little Icon is Milo. His only demand on us is accepting his total disregard for any order or expecting obedience. He insists on total obstinacy as his right and refuses to do as asked. In fact, he delights in the opposite. We now try and trick him by asking the opposite but I am sure he will soon discover the answer and do a double disobedience in reverse. 😉

So, we are getting ready to travel to Venice and Milo once more will have to accept the care of the Dog Kennel. He gets his alpaca home knitted cushion while we are away. I think he knows we do care. He gets his chicken neck and that’s the main thing.

photo 2

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11 Responses to “Snail-eating in Spain or Phar Lap’s heart viewing in Australia?”

  1. Lottie Nevin Says:

    How exciting, when are you off to Venice? I’m still on the vegetable mush but when in carnivore mode, I’m very partial to a dish of caracoles 😉


  2. gerard oosterman Says:

    Still on the vegetable diet? Helvi is the same. Right now we have a huge pot of chick (grey/green) pea mush with carrots, spuds and all sorts of other healthy ingredients on the bathroom floor.
    I do eat this but I also cut generous portions of the barbequed pork. I admire her stealth and fortitude in remaining lithe and sineous. I am naturally skinny but Helvi only by being forever vigilent and on guard with an eye on the scales next to the mush.
    It is not easy Lottie, but keep it up. Howz the level of the Vesuvius going?


  3. Curt Mekemson Says:

    Poor Milo, having to stay behind. I once had a basset hound named Socrates who hated it when he had to stay home. He knew it when we were on the road to the kennel and would go into deep sulk. And then all 70 pounds of him would refuse to move when we got there. Maybe I could have persuaded him out of the car with some of the pork roast you cooked. I don’t think he would have bought getting out for snails, however. 🙂 –Curt


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, our Milo starts shaking and puts on quite a turn on the road to the kennel. The owners are very nice though and Milo is a star performer which attracts the girls. Many a doggy heart gets broken in the kennel, yet Milo treats them haughtily and with just the right amount of chauvinism. We should never have allowed him to watch those Paul Newman movies. It is a pitiful sound when we pick him up afterwards with his girl-friends howling in the distance with lost love.


  4. mrsmrs Says:

    Watching old episodes of Rick Stein only shows up how much worse he’s getting on camera, I think. But as to them snails: Europeans enjoy having traditions (as you should know !), and enjoy getting together to share them. We would be a shitload better as a people if we were like that; but I suppose we can be forgiven for having no traditions. Sighh …


  5. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    We had a cousin who collected garden snails and fed them corn meal or something for a month to get the toxins out, then cooked and ate them also with loads of garlic and oil.

    We love the Phar Lap story. Even have an old movie of him.

    Enjoy Venice.


  6. gerard oosterman Says:

    Thank you Kayti,
    We hope to go this European Autumn depending on a few domestic things getting sorted. The window is narrowing, don’t want to be there during winter. Still, half the fun is in the planning and dreaming. I have already looked and a small suitcase on wheels with an extendable handle. I saw a new invention whereby a suitcase with handle and wheels had a hinged skate board that folded into the suitcase on the outside. It showed the passenger skating along those miles of airport corridors, through duty free acres and going hell for leather, easily out speeding the trudging walkers, (some of whom had given up, just lying down and expending their last breath).

    Liked by 1 person

  7. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    I’m glad you explained about Phar Lap, my imagination was in overdrive. Give Venice my love.


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