Sep 16th, 2014, 02:08 AM
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Even in Italy people tend to think that the French handle snails better than just about anybody in Europe, and for Italians to say that, it is a big deal. I would not judge snails by what you get in the US. You might want to ask on a restaurant-obsessed message board like Chowhound for a recommendation of where not to get frozen snails or unpleasant ones. There are also certain wines that compliment snails and you might want to ask about which French wines would be optimal.
sandralist is offline  
Sep 16th, 2014, 02:21 AM
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Also, all the people in this thread who are saying that snails have no flavor and they are just a vehicle for garlic and butter simply don't go to good restaurants that use quality snails and prepare them well. Or they buy the frozen with garlic butter!

As you might imagine, most Italians do not eat butter with their snails, but cook them quite differently, and they have been a popular dish for centuries. One of the reasons the symbol of the "Slow Food" movement is a snail is not only because it is slow but because intensive snail farming was historically done in the area where the Slow Food movement was started. If you go to some of the oldest neighborhoods of Rome, around the Colosseum, you can find restaurants still specializing in snails. They aren't being served in garlic and butter and they are tasty dishes.
sandralist is offline  
Sep 16th, 2014, 02:27 AM
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Here is a Roman recipe for snails with tomatoes, anchovies and mint:
sandralist is offline  
Sep 16th, 2014, 02:35 AM
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We stayed at a castle in the Moselle valley that had a vineyard. Their restaurant served a snail soup that might be the best thing I EVER had in my life!! Look for other ways, although I like them in the garlic butter. But when in Paris or France, I prefer foie gras entrees rather than escargot. There are MANY things to enjoy.
Gretchen is offline  
Sep 16th, 2014, 02:45 AM
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In Vienna snails are an historic food that have recently become trendy and they are having their snail festival this month. Most snails in the US probably come from Austria.

The Viennese prepare snails in lots of ways that have nothing to do with garlic and parsley:
sandralist is offline  
Sep 16th, 2014, 03:08 AM
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and lastly, everything you ever wanted to know about why French snails taste better (if you like the earthy taste of snails)
sandralist is offline  
Sep 16th, 2014, 03:50 AM
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Snails are popular in the Greek world too. For instance, snails cooked with cracked wheat.
Odin is offline  
Sep 16th, 2014, 09:35 AM
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Here is a recipe for cooking snails, which dates back to pre-recorded history in the South of France:

Find a large bush - preferably something like rosemary or thyme.
Check to see if there are a bunch of snails on the branches.
If so, set the bush on fire - but make sure it burns slowly.
When the snails drop off into the ashes, they are done.
Use a twig to remove the snails from their shells, and drink any juices.
manouche is offline  
Sep 16th, 2014, 10:14 AM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 399
Great ideas! Especially from Manouche!
MarySteveChicago is offline  

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