Friday, March 22, 2013

Planck Telescope, Ou est l’escargot

I have just been reading an article about the discoveries of the Planck telescope Big Bang Afterglowwhich was launched in 2009 and cost $900 million. Specifically they have discovered that the universe is older than originally estimated and they have traced the light of the Big Bang. If you are interested it is an informative article, but, I am a little staggered they spent so much money and then couldn’t provide it with enough coolant to last longer than the end of 2013. For that kind of money, I would have thought they could spend a little bit more to ensure it lasted longer, don’t you think? This is a map of the oldest light in the universe generated from information detected by the Planck mission.

I mentioned that on our trip to the Keg they told us there was a world wide shortage of escargots, or snails. I have been doing some research and it seems most of the snails come from eastern EscargotEurope these days and lately the supply has been drying up. They have snail farms.  When I went to stay with a French family as a youngster, we went out into the fields after we had had a lot of rain and picked up snails. I cannot understand why this can’t be done anywhere. Perhaps more time consuming than buying from an importer, but if you are hungry for escargots bourgignone you could certainly find a few for yourself. Mind you madame put the snails we found into a wicker basket and ran cold water on them for 2 days. Guess water wasn’t too expensive or too unavailable at the time. We had actually picked up 76 snails, and everyone was impressed that the young English girl, who had never eaten them before, managed to eat 6. I’ve scarfed down a lot more since then, guess I contributed to the shortage.

No my recipe is not for escargots, if you can’t get them, no point, right? I found this on I have always loved bruschetta, in fact I was eating it for many years before I realised that it qualified to be called bruschetta, I just called it Tomato Toasts. This is somewhat unusual but sounds good.

Bruschetta with Tomatoes, Beans and Fresh Herbs

Source: Casual Cuisines of the World - Trattoria by Mary Beth Clark
Serves 4

In Tuscany, the city of Lucca is known for its outstanding olive oil, showcased here in the garlic-scented toast known as bruschetta. You can also serve the toasts topped with cured meats, marinated roasted peppers or other ingredients of your choosing.
For the Topping:Bruschetta Tomatoes Beans
1 cup seeded and diced ripe beefsteak tomato
3/4 cup well-drained cannellini beans (freshly cooked or canned)
1/4 cup seeded and diced cucumber
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green (spring) onion
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
Freshly ground pepper

For the Bruschetta:
8 slices country-style white or whole-wheat bread, each 2 1/2 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick
1 large clove garlic, cut in half
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

In a bowl, combine all the topping ingredients, including pepper to taste. Toss well, cover and refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours or for up to 2 days to allow the flavours to blend.
Preheat a broiler or prepare a fire in a charcoal grill. Arrange the bread slices on a rack on a broiler pan or on a grill rack and broil or grill for 2 minutes. Turn the bread slices over and continue to cook until golden, 1-2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat, rub a cut side of the garlic clove over one side of each warm bread slice and then brush with 1/2 teaspoon of the olive oil.
Mound an equal amount of the topping on the garlic-rubbed side of each bread slice. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately.

Have a great day


  1. I bet there won't be a shortage of snails in my garden this year given the amount of rain we've had in England. Perhaps instead of trying to get rid of them I should cultivate/farm them :-)

    1. There you are, a nice little business all ready for you Sue.

  2. I've always wanted to try escargot...but have never had the chance. Glad the recipe was for something I already know and love. We make bruschetta a lot in the summer when our garden is in full swing. We make it very similarly to how your do it.

    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
    @TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

    1. If you get a chance, do try, although if there is a shortage you may not be able to. Escargots Bourguignone is the best recipe for a beginner IMHOP, its galicky, buttery and has parsley.

      Lucky you to have a garden, we have a park outside our window but....

  3. I have no desire whatsoever to eat a snail.

    1. They really are delicious Alex. Have you no sense of adventure in your soul? I try everything once and if I don't like it, I try it again in a couple of years. Tastes change.

  4. Thanks for the link! And its only tax payer money. There's lots more where that came from hahaha.

    1. Did you see the two videos I posted on Facebook? I found them both interesting to watch.

  5. The high cost of knowledge -- hey it's only the hard working money of the poor. Spend, spend, spend -- I say -- NOT!

    I've eaten escargot, and no thank you kindly. It did not go down well and it's an experience I would like to forget. Chewy little devils! Not into chewy.

    1. I have no problem with such spending, its the spending on wars and such which I object to.

      Funny, I love snails, could eat them lots.