Sep 12th, 2014, 05:55 PM
Original Poster
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My husband and I may be daring this time in Paris and actually try escargot. What exactly does it taste like? How is it usually cooked? Is it chewy like clams?
Debbielynn is offline  
Sep 12th, 2014, 06:32 PM
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Texture may be clam like, usually served in a garlic butter sauce. Why don't you go to a French restaurant in your home area and try them as a warm up to your trip? My young grandchildren love them as do I.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Sep 12th, 2014, 06:50 PM
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I love escargot. The Whole Foods near me has delious ones all prepared. You find them with the seafood. Just heat them up. They are $1.00 a piece. Buy 2 and decide if they are for you. Get some good bread to wipe up the great garlic butter. with the ones from whole Foods I make a little extra garlic butter, not a lot. The sauce also contains parsley and shallots. They come in a shell. And yes the texture is clam like.
yipper is offline  
Sep 12th, 2014, 07:04 PM
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You don't have to go to Paris to taste escargot. I agree -- why not try it at home first.
janisj is offline  
Sep 12th, 2014, 07:20 PM
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I have been eating them since I had teeth.. our family loves them for special occaisons.. birthdays etc.. They basically taste like not much themselves.. it is the garlic butter that makes or breaks them.

I rarely eat them out as they can disappoint me.. ( since we make the ) but the basic recipe involves a lot of butter ( never margarine.. although I have had some in a crappy restaurant that I swear were margarine) .. lots of garlic( ok this is a matter of taste.. but we like a lot ) .. a fair amount of chopped parsley.. and a tad of salt and pepper.. that's it.. and the most important accompaniment is of course lots of good bread ( baguette) to dip in the butter and soak up the butter..
I grew up eating them from the shell and we ( at home ) made a big deal about sucking all the butter out.. but in Paris this summer I was trying to be a little more discreet so I would just hold up snail.. suck it out.. and then whatever butter was left in shell I would tip and drip onto plate to be soaked up with bread.. ( as home.. I would just slurp it out of shell though!)

They are a bit chewy , similar to clams I suppose.. but I prefer them to clams..
justineparis is offline  
Sep 12th, 2014, 07:45 PM
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Chewy? Yes, and the only taste you will get is from what they cook them in---mostly butter & garlic & parsley. I have always loved them and I do still eat them, but for a while I stayed away from them after I saw a program on how they clean them
TPAYT is offline  
Sep 12th, 2014, 09:10 PM
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They taste like snails. But don't worry, snails can delicious in a good garlic butter sauce. Try them at La Fontaine de Mars on Rue St. Dominique near the Eiffel Tower.
letsgeaux is offline  
Sep 12th, 2014, 11:57 PM
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The texture is similar to clams - soft and a little rubbery, but you won't notice much. Usually, they are about the size of a medium pencil eraser. Everyone just eats them as an excuse to consume as much garlic butter as possible. Apart from that, escargots don't have any smell or any discernible flavor.

It is perfectly permissible to use a piece of bread to wipe up all the sauce, too.
manouche is offline  
Sep 13th, 2014, 12:01 AM
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PS - for your first time, I would advise eating escargots "a la bourguignonne" - in garlic butter - which might be served in the shells or in a special platter. If served in the shells, you'll be give a large pincer-like tool and a seafood fork. It's a lot easier to handle than it looks.

Some places serve them in a pie with mushrooms and sauce, which won't be at all the same experience.
manouche is offline  
Sep 13th, 2014, 04:37 AM
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IMHO I don't bother with then since like clams - what you're eating them for is the butter and garlic. I prefer shrimp which actually do have a taste in the same type of sauce. Or moules meuniere with frites (yum) - again with more of a taste.

Agree to try them at home first - will cost less and then you'll know if you want to eat them in France (when cost will be higher and you won't want not to enjoy part of a holiday meal.).
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 13th, 2014, 04:55 AM
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I like clams, although don't really have them hardly ever, but don't like oysters at all, and snails are in that category. For example, the way that is recommended to eat oysters is just to swallow them without chewing or tasting (or at least only bit them once or so), so why even eat such a thing that you don't want to taste? I had snails once, but would never eat them again. I don't eat garden slugs, either.

I don't really see the point of eating things that you don't want to taste or say the only taste is the preparation.
Christina is online now  
Sep 13th, 2014, 07:57 AM
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Christina who has ever heard of not chewing snails.. I think you were misinformed.. They are chewed and swallowed like any food.
justineparis is offline  
Sep 13th, 2014, 08:14 AM
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I think perhaps I will just stick with the garlic and butter!
Debbielynn is offline  
Sep 13th, 2014, 10:29 AM
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If you live in an area where garden snails are common like California you can prepare them yourself to see how you might like them. Before eating You should purge the snails for about a week by feeding them corn meal.
J62 is online now  
Sep 13th, 2014, 11:55 AM
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Debbielynn, I hope you enjoy escargot in France as well as many other foods you may not have tried. It is a wonderful part of the adventure and learning experience of travel.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Sep 13th, 2014, 12:41 PM
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I think they really are a bit more mushroom like, not as chewy as clams. But like mushrooms, and as other have said, all the taste is in how they are prepared. I have had some nice ones in phyllo and puff pastry too but my favorites are in garlic butter.
suec1 is offline  
Sep 13th, 2014, 07:10 PM
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J62 purist claim you purge them by feeding them grape leaves( the are available in calofrnia so why not) my grand!other gathered them in her garden in France and just fed them lettuce for a week or so.
justineparis is offline  
Sep 13th, 2014, 09:51 PM
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My grandmother would purge them just by putting them in a bucket with coarse salt at the bottom. They were purged in about 4 or 5 hours.
kerouac is offline  
Sep 15th, 2014, 01:58 PM
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They are only fresh during one season and I can't recall which. They are mostly frozen. I had the misfortune of biting into one this spring in Paris and Finding a frozen interior. Yuk!
MarySteveChicago is offline  
Sep 15th, 2014, 11:40 PM
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Mary,. my dad makes about 20 dozen at a time at Christmas.. and yes.. he freezes some.. but the trick is they must be fully defrosted before you pop them in a hot oven.. since you are only heating them till the butter bubbles( they are not raw) I also had some rather unpleasant escargots in Paris.. one reason I rarely eat them in restaurants.. they were served WARM.. totally disgusting.. they should arrive bubbling as far as I am concerned.. Its hard when you have had good ones to eat mediocre ones.. and I can see how some would turn people off.. but suppose that's like many foods , if your mom makes a great spaghetti sauce.. then you are going to be hyper critical of the stuff at Olive Gardens etc.. lol
justineparis is offline  

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