What does escargot taste like? Does it taste like mushrooms? Or, like traditional snails?
The answer to this simple question is not simple. In this article we shall try to explore minute details about this delicacy along with its taste.
There are many special foods in different regions around the globe. Escargot, a species of snail, was considered such a special and widely popular delicacy among French and Catalan people previously.
But as the tide of globalization rises, it has become a well liked food in Europe, America and beyond. Still people not familiar with its taste often ask: what does escargot taste like?
Table of Content
What Does Escargot Mean?
To be more particular, this is an edible type of snail found and farmed in land only. The dish of escargot is usually prepared with garlic, butter, parsley and with a few more items.
Escargot recipes were also aristocratic foods millenia back during Roman period. In modern times, from the French cuisine it got attention across the continents. That’s why heliciculture or also known as snail farming is growing everyday.
How to Clean Escargot?
Cleaning a snail before cooking is a must process that everyone should know. As you know it is a species of snail, its possibility to carry parasites cannot be overlooked.
Therefore, purging it from unwanted elements should be taken seriously. However, farmed escargots are prone to less parasites bearer.
To clean any questionable residue inside snails, you can put the snails into a desolate place where they are left without any food for a few days. In this way, the snails are internally cleansed from any sort of filths.
Moreover, you can put them on herby area so that their digestive y can be purged. If successfully done so, the exterior of a snail would turn into whitish color. In this way you can clean the interior of a snail that can be harmful for the human body.
How to prepare Escargot for cooking?
The previous process only can ensure safety since harmful substances will be cleansed from the snails. But before you cook, you need to prepare Escargot with some further toil.
First, take a knife of gentle sharpness to remove the upper covering membranes that lie at the opening of the hardy shell. Then put the snails you intend to cook into a large pot of pure water.
Then pick up any spoilt snail that afloat on the water and discard them from the menu. The rest should be taken into your palm and rubbed gently to wipe out anything unwanted.
Wash every single snail in the same manner and throw the dirty water outside. Take new fresh water into the pot and rinse the snail one by one. They’re now ready to be used in a delicate dish.
What does escargot taste like?
As it is said earlier, escargot is a cooked recipe. It can have multiple flavor and taste. It can be snail like, butter flavored, garlic and parsley flavored and many more.
Escargots come with various menus. It can be fried, or grilled. There are also soups and sauces made of escargot as well. Most of these recipes come with the following flavors. So, what does escargot taste like? In brief the answer is a variety.
Let’s closely inspect the various flavors and tastes escargot can offer.
Escargot is a prepared recipe of snail after all. So it’s obvious that it may taste like a snail. Those who are familiar with seafood and shellfish, they can easily perceive the taste to be similar to other molluscs.
But those who are unfamiliar with shellfish like abalone, it may taste like the intestines of cows or even chicken to some. Therefore the taste will depend on individual experience.
A popular flavor that you shall get in a well prepared escargot is the flavor of butter. Though snail meat is the primary ingredient of making an escargot dish, a good amount of butter is needed to make it butter flavored.
The flavor of snail is mixed with the butter deliberately to make it savory and delicious. Though the snail obviously has got the dominant part, the butter that is given there in the recipe will make it creamy and smooth.
Most escargot recipes are flavored with parsley. It is usually sprinkled over the snail to make it taste different. In this particular flavor you shall get mint like taste. And parsley can make the escargot taste fresh and delicious.
Garlic is a common element used in escargot. It has its own peculiar flavor that surpasses snail’s own taste. While other flavors merely add cuisine values to escargot, garlic dominates the whole taste and smell of an escargot dish.
As we all know, garlic has strong aromatic power in cuisine, it can change the smell of any food. Those who are not accustomed to snails, should take garlic flavored escargot for better experience.
Apart from these, there are other ingredients like nutmegs that are also mixed with escargot by many chefs to make the taste different. The most conventional style is to mix garlic with either butter or parsley.
How to Eat Escargot?
Every food has their own distinct etiquette and manner of eating. Escargot, being a delicacy for a long time, has also some. Let’s find out how to eat escargot.
Escargot is usually served on a plate with forks, tissues or napkins. First use a tissue or snail tong if provided to take hold of the particular escargot.
Then use a fork to pull the meat out of the shell. You should make twisting or piercing movement to make the shell loose from the inside meat. When you feel that the meaty part is loosened, pull it out gently.
Now dip the meat into the given sausages. Most restaurants provide sausage of numerous varieties. Or you can ask for the extra sauce of different types if needed. After you have dipped the meat, it is ready to be tasted. In this way you can take a dish of escargot with full etiquette.
Warning: You should remember that a cooked recipe of escargot remains hot for a time being. So while eating, be sure that it is of tolerable warmth.
If you are in a foreign country and tasting escargot or any mollusc for the first time, you should remain extra positive about this appetizer. It may taste horrible or you may have digestive problems after consuming it.
Nutrition Value of Escargot
Escargot or commonly known as cooked snail has rich nutritious values. It’s fat free, sugar free, carbohydrate free; but protein and minerals oriented to a certain degree. Escargot is also rich in calories. Therefore, it’s healthy to consume. Let’s find out its nutrient value in detail.
Snail meat contains 79% of water in it. But it is also rich in protein. Per 100 gram meat, it has 16 grams of protein in it. It has iron of 3.5% and we all know perhaps, iron is an essential mineral. It contains minerals like magnesium, potassium of good amounts. And other minerals like calcium, zinc and sodium are also found in it, though in less amount.
Though escargot is not rich in vitamins, it contains some of the important vitamins for our body. There is a presence of vitamin E in Escargot, a rarely found vitamin in common foods. It can provide you with Vitamin A, crucially important Vitamin B-12 as well as B-6. But it contains neither D nor C.
In a hundred gram escargot you can get 1% of fat and 2% of carbohydrate. Apart from these, Escargot contains tryptophan a bit, which in turn helps to produce serotonin. Serotonin is a crucial hormone that controls our mood, happiness and feelings. Moreover, serotonin contributes to the well-being of eating as well as digestion.
So you see, escargot has excellent nutrition value. Its farming is easy and profitable. Therefore it’s an oft-suggested advice from many to begin snail farming business.
Where to buy Escargot?
Escargot can be bought both online and offline. There are numerous shops that offer escargot online. You can also get canned escargot in many super shops.
However, if you want to get fresh escargot, you need to fetch them from a nearby farm. Farmed escargots are quite good and reliable to eat.
But don’t be enticed to eat wayside, toxicated snails, for they can contain parasites. Even if you buy, try to clean them with enormous care before cooking.
The price of escargot, especially the Helix and Roland, is quite tolerable and budget friendly. While caviar price is beyond budget, escargot is affordable.
An ounce of caviar can cost you 50 to 75 dollars. On the other hand, an ounce of canned escargot costs only 0.50 to 2 dollars. So it’s better to opt for escargot delicacies as appetizers. But if you take these delicacies in a restaurant, that’s a different matter.
Is Escargot Safe to Eat?
Escargot is a huge industry around the globe. In most European restaurants, it’s a common recipe. But is it safe to consume escargot? Does it pose any risk to health?
Most snails are edible; but farmed one are always better than wild one. Helix pomatia and Helix aspersa are most commonly found in France and beyond its border.
However, there are other edible species as well that you can take. But beware of wild snails. They have parasites like nematodes. If they are not purged properly, parasites may enter into your body as well.
So, eating escargot is safe, but cleaning them out of harmful objects is an obligatory job. If you’re preparing a dish by yourself, try to clean it and boil it accordingly.
Does Escargot Taste Good?
What does escargot taste like? Escargot usually tastes good with various flavors such as garlic, butter and parsley. The snail alone may not taste good to an unaccustomed tongue due to its peculiarity. It can even seem disgusting to first timers.
But overall, escargot tastes good if you have a broad perspective about it. Native French or Greek people like its taste in general. But foreigners also love its taste once they are accustomed.
French starter escargot has been popular and its familiarity is increasing. It may be disgusting to taste and smell to people who are prejudiced against snails. But for snail lovers, it tastes just great.
Usually foods that are good to eat are not diet friendly. But escargot has a good combination of nutrition that makes it worthy of tasting. And the best way by which you can decide its taste is to taste the delicacy by yourself. Adios! Happy eating!!
The FAQs About Escargot Taste
What does a snail taste like?
Usually a snail has a meaty texture that can have different taste to different individuals. But perhaps it has not got any peculiar taste of its own.
If you add garlic flavor, it shall taste like garlic with meat inside. If you add butter, it shall be buttery. The alone taste of a snail is not sharp rather mild and negligible.
Do you chew escargot?
Yes, escargot needs chewing like many other foods to be properly processed, unless you are taking an escargot soup. Swallowing them is not a good thing for your digestive system.
Many people have misconceptions about a snail being slimy or sticky. But snails are solid and meat like substances. So, you can choke while swallowing it.
Why is escargot a delicacy?
Escargot is considered a delicacy in many European countries, especially in France. The way escargot is collected, cooked and prepared, gives it a status of delicacy. Only the Greek and Portuguese people prefer them as a normal diet rather than a delicate item.
Is Escargot considered meat or seafood?
To be precise, escargot is considered to be meat. While the sea snails would be considered as seafood due to its availability in the sea, escargot is collected and farmed in the land.
Moreover, the substance inside the shell looks and tastes more like meat. Therefore, escargot is a meaty delicacy and not a seafood.
What do snails eat?
Snails take various kinds of food from herbs to meat. Most land snails are herbivorous since they consume whatever herbs and plants they get.
Some snails are carnivorous and some even are omnivorous. Actually their food depends on where they live, what available there, particular species etc.
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