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Difficult Food: How To Eat Escargot the Right Way

Difficult Food: How To Eat Escargot the Right Way

01 September, 2022
How To Eat Escargot | Difficult Food

Escargot, an intriguing dish, but also one of the most difficult to eat: that's why Fine Dining Lovers has this simple tutorial on how to eat escargot - you'll never get it wrong again with these simple steps.

What are escargot?

Escargot, French for snail, are cooked snails often served as an appetizer or main course, usually served in their shells.

They are a common delicacy in many European countries like France, Italy, Spain and Portugal.

a dish of escargots

What to use to eat escargot

Escargot are usually served in an escargot dish, with six to twelve cavities to house each shell. Snail tongs are used to grip the shell and a slender two pronged snail fork is used to extract the meat. 

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To eat escargot, you simply need to hold the shell with the tongs, and twist the fork to separate the meat from the shell. Follow these easy steps:

  1. Keep the tongs in your left hand

  2. Use the tongs to grip and hold the shell in place

  3. With your right hand use the snail fork

  4. Put the fork prongs down against the rim

  5. Pull out the meat

  6. Put the entire snail into your mouth

What not to do

If you're in polite company, try not to grip the shells with your fingers, use the tongs, and avoid sucking the the meat straight from the shell.

How to serve escargot

Escargot have a tender texture with a clean and earthy flavour. They're commonly cooked in butter, white wine or stock and pair perfectly with traditional favourites like herb or galic infused butter and parsley.

Popular French dishes include escargots à la Bourguignonne, oven-roasted snails served with a creamy garlic butter.

Here's French chef, Ludo Lefebvre, highlighting a simple escargots with garlic recipe:

Whatever you decide to make be sure to serve escargot with plenty of baguette or toasted bread to mop up all the delicous garlicky juices. 

Did you know? The earliest evidence of snail eating dates back some 30,000 years and they were considered as elite food by the Romans 2,000 years ago.