Why this Portsmouth sandwich bar is selling snail paninis

Andre Guedeney with the new snail panini
Andre Guedeney with the new snail panini
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A SANDWICH shop in the heart of Southsea has made a rather special addition to its lunchtime repertoire.

Andre’s Food Bar, which has branches in Osborne Road, Southsea, and in Lord Montgomery Way in the city centre, will soon be putting a snail panini on the menu.

The shop has trialled the new panini with a selection of customers, with the owners saying that the response has been ‘overwhelmingly positive’.

Owner Andre Guedeney says that the inspiration came from his numerous family trips to France when he was a youngster.

He explained: ‘The inspiration from this dates back quite a while – but we had never come round to doing it.

‘As a kid I would eat snails all the time when we went on holiday to France; I remember really enjoying them from the very first time I tried them.

‘Then recently we were challenged to come up with something unique and I decided there was no better time to get it out there.

‘The panini consists of around half a dozen Burgundy snails, gruyere cheese and garlic butter mousse, which we make here on-site.’

Andre and co-owner Antony Aguado say that he doesn’t expect everyone to be on board with the idea – but says that everyone should at least consider trying it.

‘People might look at it and turn their noses up at the idea’ he said.

‘But the same can be said for other things – some people don’t like eggs, for example.

‘I think everyone should try it at least once. You never know, you might actually end up liking it.’

The panini is still in its trial stage at the sandwich shop – which was formerly called La Croissanterie – but Andre says it will be a permanent fixture on the menu very soon.

He said: ‘We’ve done a trial with a few people and they seemed to really like it – although some of them needed a lot of persuading first.

‘At this stage it’s not on the menu officially, but I’m hoping to put it on there soon.’

Andre’s Food Bar won the Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism title at this year’s News Business Excellence Awards.