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Jul 9, 2009 03:39 AM

Are slugs edible?

They can get pretty amazingly large in the Northwest.

Escargots sans cloche anyone? (Pardon my Franglish).

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  1. We are having record rainfall in Maine and slugs are decimating our garden. We hand pick hundreds every day. I've thought of cooking them battered deep fried, but don't know if they are edible. If the birds don't eat them, what does that say? Maine escargot???
    Thanks for the post, I'm eager to know the answer.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Passadumkeg

      You said some of your slugs were 2-3 inches long and we have those sizes in British Columbia. The get to over a half inch in diameter.
      I would sure like to know if these can be as tasty as escargot. I get tired of eating trout, salmon, oysters and fresh seafood all the time...

      1. re: Scargod

        Oh Scargod, just shoot me already!

        For what it's worth, we had a small backyard flocks of hens for several years. They always pecked a few leaves off the basil and other herbs as they walked by on their daily backyard outing, and ate some caterpillars and other bugs we threw them. I gave one of them a slug once. She looked at it for a long time, pecked at it a couple of times, thought about it, and then wiped her beak on the grass. That was good enough testimonial for me.

        1. re: EWSflash

          """[the hen] looked at [the slug] for a long time, pecked at it a couple of times, thought about it, and then wiped her beak on the grass.""""

          LOVE it! {;^D.

        2. re: Scargod

          Here is a pic of a slug from BC, Canada. About the size of a medium cigar if straight.

          1. re: Scargod

            uhhh . . . I think that qualifies as a snail (not a slug)

            1. re: vday

              Yea, I know, it's me, not a slug. I DID have a post with picture posted here. The first try did not upload the picture. ANother post had the picture; now it's gone.
              I do not know what the hell is going on with Chowhound. Uploading pictures is so quirky. Perhaps it was censored since it was a naked snail?

              1. re: Scargod

                Thanks Scargod . . . Chowhound is obviously trying to stamp out naked mollusk photos . . .

                BTW, snails and slugs are surprisingly far apart on the evolutionary tree . . . they diverge after the "Order" classification - presumably they can't interbreed (ooops, better stop or I'll be censored as well!)

      2. And so early in the morning too.... anyway, here's a page from a Q & A from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History which might answer your question. Seems that some are, indeed, edible.... perish the thought. (O_O)

        2 Replies
        1. re: Gio

          Thanks, but what happens when you salt them?

          1. re: Gio

            Hmmm? Seems like with all the peeling, slitting and cutting there wouldn't be much left anyway.

          2. My guess is if they were, they'd be on a LOT of restaurant menus. I've never seen them. But if someone wants to try them, let us know how it goes. Oh, and I suspect you need to "cleanse" them before eating, just as you do with snails. You put them in a dishpan with a box of cornmeal or two in the bottom, cover with a screen and a brick and let them gorge for a few days. By then, they should have excreted all of the pesticides and bad stuff they've eaten. But I don't know if they're toxic all on their own. Let us know!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Caroline1

              Grubs are edible but I don't see them on any menus. Just not something that would appeal to the western palate er... mind.

              Market it well and you never know

            2. Gross-out warning.

              I had wondered the same. At my local golf course in Cheshire UK if you were out while the dew was still on the ground there were these large black and brown slugs, up to about 8 inches in length. So while we were waiting on the par three 11th tee we used to have a competition. If you tapped the slugs they crunch up into something not much smaller than a golf ball. The competition was to see who could hit one the furthest. This required a delicate touch because if you used too much oomph they would burst.

              An eight iron was the best club, and you should avoid a follow through.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Paulustrious

                And here I thought "Slugger" was a nickname reserved for base ball players. Live and learn.

                1. re: Paulustrious

                  OMG add some beverages at the 19th hole and you're having yourself a good old time! LOL

                2. As part of a nature class my son got a chance to taste a slug's slime (organically fed, of course). If I recall correctly it has a numbing effect. My dog sampled a couple of slugs when he was puppy, but pays no attention to them now.