When you look at the common snails in your garden you may think someone was joking if they asked you how to eat escargots. However, this might just be one of the best things you have ever eaten, so prepare yourself with the basics before you take the plunge and order snails as an appetiser.
Get to know what you are eating
If you know what to expect, how to eat escargots is one of the easiest things you could ever learn. The snails served at most French restaurants are bred for the main purpose of being consumed by connoisseurs across the globe. They are fed a clean diet that consists of leaves, fruit and vegetables. Before they are cooked, they are purified by being fasted for up to seven days. Once this period has passed, the snails are fed flour. This helps to enhance the flavour of the meat when they are cooked.
Your tools are important
When you order escargot, you can’t just dig in with any old spoon or fork. Instead, you need specialised equipment that makes it easy to eat these savoury morsels. Escargot is typically served in a small plate that has several depressions on the surface; these are little beds for the snails to lie in before they make their way to your mouth. You also receive snail forks and tongs. The tongs are used to grasp the shells while you scoop out the flesh with your two-pronged fork.
The proper etiquette
The biggest concern when wondering how to eat escargots is how to get the meat out of the shells. Sometimes, restaurants serve escargot without a pair of tongs to grip the shell. If this is the case, it is perfectly acceptable to use your serviette to hold onto the shell as you remove the meat. Then you can dip the shell-less snail in the sauce that accompanies your meal. You could pop the tasty treat directly into your mouth or place it on a slice of bread. Finally, leave the empty shells in a small pile on the side of your plate.
How to enhance the flavour
Once you know how to eat escargots it is a good idea to look for other foods that go well with this appetiser. You could opt for a light risotto or pasta dish after you have eaten escargot or you may even want to treat yourself to some roast duck as the main course. You might also want to order yourself a glass of white wine to sip on as you snack on these shelly bites.
Find the right restaurant
Those of you who are looking for an unforgettable escargot experience should take care when choosing a restaurant to eat at. Although it is available in most French and Mediterranean restaurants, you need to look for an establishment that uses a reliable snail breeder and uses classic methods when preparing this delicacy.