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What Is Escargot?

Escargot is one of the more distinct dishes in French cuisine. Escargot are snails that are served with any number of sauces. There is a common belief that the word “escargot” refers to a particular dish, but in fact it is a “common” word that is used to describe or refer to edible snails.

When preparing escargot, the most common method of preparing it is either by boiling or steaming. The cooked snails are then usually served in the shell and served on a special escargot plate. This is a plate that has many small depressions where each shell is placed. To eat the snails, tongs are used in order to remove the flesh from the shell. A small two-tined snail fork is also used to remove the flesh. The flesh is then dipped into a sauce served with the plate. One of the most common sauces when serving escargot is a garlic and butter sauce. But wine based sauces are also commonly served.

Edible snails can usually be found and collected in the wild. But there are also snails that are farmed. Snail farms usually feed snails with a feed that consists of green and dried foods. Some snail farmers prefer using dried food exclusively because it is less messy. There are some that also feed the snails with herbs like dill in order to help in imparting the snail flesh with a delicate flavor. Whatever the feeding method though, farmers will withhold food to the snails and allow it to undergo a fast (usually for a period of one week) so that the snails will empty their intestines. Snails that do not undergo the fasting period correctly will have a bitter taste.

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