Can you imagine a type of Caviar made from snails? Well, today is your day! Keep reading to know everything about what it is, how it tastes, its production and where and how to buy it.
When you hear about Caviar you think about fish. More specifically, the sturgeon fish. When you hear about types of Caviar you may know there are two large main categories: imported and domestic. And when it comes to Caviar substitutes you will surely think about Fish Roe or Tobiko Caviar. But have you ever heard about Snail Caviar? Did you even know it exists? The answer is yes. Snail Caviar comes from the species Helix aspersa maxima or Gros gris. Each snail lays around 100 eggs and this naturally happens only once per year if the snail is kept in an outdoor setting. This is equivalent to 4 g of Snail Caviar.
The production of this type of Caviar is very labour-intensive and heavy manual work. It requires a huge amount of work: cleaning the snails, removing excrement and dead snails, installing egg-laying traps, sorting eggs manually under a magnifying glass, the processing stage, bottling and labelling. It is important for a successful snail production to create an optimum indoor environment with controlled temperature, light and humidity, in order to create several mating and egg laying cycles per year. The temperature is usually maintained at 15 °C and humidity levels at 80%. Snail eggs in their natural state are without colour. Once they are processed, the Snail Caviar may become pinkish, white or of cream colour. Size of snail eggs is 3–4 mm in diameter, but could be up to 6 mm in diameter.
Even though there can be a lot of things to make sure during its production, there’s a plus. Snails are hermaphrodites and therefore each snail can produce eggs. They bury their eggs in soil 1 to 1½ inches deep. One method of harvesting eggs is placing snails in boxes that have soil and sand in them.
Compared to other Caviar one snail only produces around 4 grams of eggs annually, whereas one sturgeon can lay 18 kilograms of eggs. For the 100g tub of Snail Caviar a farmer would need at least 25 snails. This is one of the main reasons why Snail Caviar is very highly valuable on the market.
The production of Snail Caviar is very labour-intensive and heavy manual work. It requires a huge amount of work: cleaning the snails, removing excrement and dead snails, installing egg-laying traps, sorting eggs manually under a magnifying glass, the processing stage, bottling and labelling.
Just like sturgeon Caviar or any other type of roe, fresh is better. Standard Snail Caviar can last for a few months in the refrigerator with the seal unbroken, but after opening, it should be enjoyed within a few days.
There are two production methods of Snail Caviar. First, undergoes a process of pasteurization to extend the shelf life and make the product more profitable for the producers. Connoisseurs will argue, however, that pasteurized Caviar of any kind is inferior to fresh, some agree and some others don’t. And the second, known as De Jaeger snail caviar involves a delicate balance of sea salt, rosemary, citric acid, and a pinch of starch that preserves the eggs for longer (up to three months after opening) without sacrificing taste or texture. Although with this method you’ll have to pay more, the experience is a finer product overall.
If you’re wondering how Snail Caviar tastes, some say it is like a walk in the forest after the rain. Its typical flavour resembles one of mushrooms, wood, oak leaf and baked asparagus. Snail Caviar is crunchier than fish Caviar and has an earthy flavour. And referring to its texture is notoriously resilient on the exterior, making for an exquisite “pop” sensation on the palate.
This may be a lot of information, so we want to give you some advice when looking for a great quality Snail Caviar.There are certain indicators of quality you should look out for. One is the color. High quality Snail Caviar should be white or light pink. If you notice a purple or other dark color among the pearls, they have likely gone bad. The Caviar should also be intact. If the shape of the pearls is odd or many have burst, these could be signs that the Caviar is not good. The Caviar lasts 1 week after opening the original packaging. Unopened, the shelf life of the pearls is about 3 months. By last, remember the Snail Caviar should remain refrigerated.
We know at this point you need to know how to serve this type of Caviar. Snail Caviar can be served in many ways. The most common is with blinis, sour cream and champagne. It may also be served in soups and deserts, salads or as an ingredient of the main dish. One interesting recipe is Snail Caviar with tuna, avocado, vanilla, chili and lime. But there really are no limits to how you want to use Snail Caviar on your plate. Try it and have fun while doing it!
Congrats! You already know a lot about Snail Caviar and if you’re convinced of getting a new ingredient for your next meal the best way to buy is online. Make sure you choose a well reputed store with high quality products like Caviar Lover. Visit our online store and find the best Snail Caviar to start with. We hope this blog helped you to learn something new and of course, we’re waiting to see you here again!