Escargot is a dish of cooked of snails, normally as an appetizer in France and in French restaurants.
Not all types of land snail are edible, and numerous are too small to make it worthwhile to prepare and make them. Even among the edible species, the palatability of the flesh differs from species to species. In France, the species Helix pomatia is most often consumed. The “petit-gris” Helix aspersa is likewise consumed, as is Helix lucorum. A number of extra species, such as Elona quimperiana, are popular in Europe.
Preparation: In French culture, the snails are usually purged and removed from their shells, and cooked (typically with garlic butter, chicken stock or wine), and then positioned back into the shells with the butter and sauce for serving. Special snail tongs (for holding the shell) and snail forks (for extracting the meat) are also typically supplied, and they are served on indented metal trays with areas for 6 or 12 snails.
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