Sunday, September 25, 2016

The competition. And a banana slug recipe

I went looking for mushrooms and found slugs looking for dinner. Chef's special: mushrooms on the stalk, with fresh rain dressing.

Black slug, Arion ater.

Everywhere I went yesterday, there were black slugs, all dressed in blue-black finery, partying in the wet moss and mud.

If you encounter one and are feeling bold, poke it gently. It will tighten into a ball and start wobbling side to side, very slowly. It is one of nature's most inexplicable and strangely mesmerizing performances, worth watching if you have a lot of time to kill. (E-fauna, article by Hugh Griffith)

I didn't know that, or I'd have been poking slugs until dark. Next time.

Banana slug, Ariolimax columbianus. Our native slug.

This was a small specimen, in a hurry to leave while I tromped around him, trying to find firm footing on a wet slope. I like the striped border of his foot.

Another banana slug, in a spotted coat, eating a mushroom.

Banana slugs, like the bananas they're named for, can be any colour from green to yellow to spotty brown to black. They are the most commonly met slugs in this area, and can grow up to 25 cm (10 inches) long, like the big cooking bananas (plantains) in the produce section at the store.  And yes, you can cook and eat a banana slug.

I had the slugs with ketchup and they were oh-so-good. I was very surprised. The texture was like a cross between mushrooms and calamari. It was hard to pick out a specific “slug” flavor; they tasted deep-fried, oily, and subtle. (From a recipe for Deep Fried Banana Slugs.)

Interesting, but I think I'll stick to the plant variety.

The slugs were eating mushrooms at Echo Lake.

Mushrooms tomorrow, some not even chewed yet!

1 comment:

  1. I see the black ones most often, it's been a long time for a banana slug. Did you know that the mascot for the University of California, Santa Cruz? Interesting choice if you ask me. - Margy


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