What Does Escargot Taste Like? A Detailed Answer

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Are strange delicacies your thing? Then I am sure you must have heard of the French delicacy escargot. You might have deemed it abominable but still wish to try it with a question lingering in your mind, “What does escargot taste like?.” I will bombard you with all the relevant information about escargot and its taste.

Escargot

Escargot is French for snail and refers to a dish made using snails. It has a distinctive flavor that is similar to that of clams. Many consider the taste of snails to be the same as that of fried chicken or fish, with a herbal smell like mushrooms. Mostly, escargot takes on the flavor of the ingredients it is cooked with. 

Escargot is a popular delicacy well known for its distinctive taste and texture (No wonder it is said that the French consume about 40,000 metric tons of snails each year!). It is eaten as an entree or an appetizer.

If you are one of those who are yet to try escargot, this article is going to be immensely helpful to you in accomplishing that task. Let us get started right away!

What Is Escargot?

Escargot is the French word for snail. Snails have been consumed as food ever since Roman times. Escargots were considered elite food by the Romans.

Not all species of snails are edible – some of the edible snails are the European snail, Roman snail, or Burgundy escargot. Burgundy escargot is a widely consumed species of snail in France.

Escargot is a French delicacy made using snails. French and other Europeans consume it very dearly. Americans are not slow-paced either – they eat about 1 billion snails yearly. 

What Does Escargot Taste Like?

Now we are on to the most asked question, “What does escargot taste like?”. It isn’t very hard to describe the taste of snails. The taste of snails can be easily understood by comparing it with the taste of other edible meat.

Escargot and clams have similar taste and textural profiles. The taste of escargot is comparable to the taste of fried fish and chicken. The earthy, herbal flavor of escargot is similar to the earthy taste of mushrooms. 

That said, basically, escargot takes up the flavor of the ingredients used along with it. A typical escargot delicacy features snails with the delicious flavors of butter, garlic, and parsley.

Do Escargots Taste Good?

I get it; a dish of snails is not something you can think of love, especially if you haven’t tried it before. So you might ask, “Do escargots taste good?”. Here is the answer for you.

Relishing escargots is not something that you can often do. Escargot can taste good for someone who enjoys its taste. It has a unique taste and texture that many love to relish. 

Since escargot blends well with the ingredients it uses, any type of seasoning agent or herb is sure to upgrade its flavor. Escargot is famously and commonly paired with butter, garlic, and parsley and is supposed to taste extremely good. 

Does Escargot Taste Like Mussels?

Mussels are bivalve mollusks that are similar to clams and oysters. These are a type of shellfish that are eaten from their shells. So, does escargot taste like mussels? Let us find out.

Escargots and mussels are often compared to each due to the similarity in their physical appearance. Even when cooked, they appear similar, so you might wonder if escargot tastes like mussels. 

Escargot tastes like whatever it is prepared with. But mussels have a unique, salty, fishy flavor and a chewy texture. Therefore, escargot doesn’t taste like mussels, although the flavor of both of these can be enhanced with the use of seasoning agents and herbs. 

Does Escargot Taste Like Dirt?

The sensation of taste and what it offers to one’s taste buds vary from person to person. Foods that have acquired taste are good examples of this fact. From that perspective, we will find out if escargot tastes like dirt.

Escargot has a characteristic taste and texture that is majorly dependent on what types of flavors are used with it. It can taste similar to fried fish, chicken, or mushrooms. Some cite the taste of escargot as that of mushroom mixed with calamari – hence consider that escargot tastes like dirt, but in a good, tasty way. 

What Does Sea Snail Taste Like?

A sea snail is a sea creature that inhabits salt or brackish waters. Apart from escargot, which is a delicacy, sea snail or whelks is another relished delicacy of snails. It is staple street food in Vietnam. So what does a sea snail taste like? Let us find out.

Sea snail has a succulent, salty flavor and a meaty texture. This taste is further enhanced by using condiments such as lemon, salt, crushed peanuts, and chili. Using the right seasonings will properly upgrade the taste of sea sail.

What Does Raw Snail Taste Like?

I can’t imagine this question turning into an actual reality, but it is my job to tell you what the taste of raw snail is. *proceeding with a yucky face!*

Raw snail has an earthy flavor that is not usually deemed likable. In fact, consuming raw snails is never advised because it is extremely unsafe. It can cause rat lungworm disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. Although infected snails cause this disease, eating raw snails can also be a means of transmission. 

What Does Snail Caviar Taste Like?

I am pretty sure you know what caviar is. Caviar is a delicacy made using salt-cured, unfertilized fish roe of the Acipenseridae family, also known as the sturgeon fish. Simply put, it is a dish made using the internal, unfertilized eggs of sturgeon fish. So what about snail caviar and its taste?

Snail caviar or escargot roe is a luxury gourmet famous in France and Poland. It comprises the fresh or processed eggs of land snails. Snail caviar has a rich, earthy flavor that is similar to that of baked asparagus or baked mushrooms. It has a subtle woody flavor as well. 

Ingredients Contributing To The Flavor Of Escargot

So while escargot has a natural, unique taste and texture, the role of seasoning or flavor-enhancing agents plays a major part in enhancing the flavor of escargot. Let us look in detail into the ingredients contributing to the flavor of escargot. 

1. Butter

Butter is a well-known condiment used for frying or coating purposes. It has a creamy, rich, light flavor that is perfect to pair with snails. Escargot has a soft, spongy texture, allowing the flavors of other ingredients to blend well. Thus, the rich flavor of butter blends well with escargot, and escargot has a strong buttery flavor. 

2. Garlic

Who can not know the prominence garlic holds in the world of flavors? It is a major flavor-enhancing ingredient that is used in the making of escargot.

Garlic has such an intense, pungent flavor that renders a strong flavor profile to escargot. Garlic is sauteed first to mellow its bold flavor, then escargot is added for a smooth, warm finish. 

3. Parsley

Parsley is a herb that plays many roles in the food industry – it is used as a food condiment for flavoring and garnishing. It has a peppery flavor with a subtle earthy taste that complements the strong flavors of garlic and butter.

It can be used in different ways to make escargot – fresh parsley leaves are sprinkled on escargot, or a paste of parsley leaves and other herbs is smeared over cooked escargot. 

4. Snail

Using snails that are properly cleaned and washed is imperative for tasty escargot. Snails have a soft, chewy texture and permeable skin, which allows the flavors of other ingredients to blend well.

Contrary to what you may think, snails are not slimy in nature. It has a neutral flavor profile, making it perfect for blending other flavors.

How To Pick The Best Snails To Make Escargot?

If you thought catching a few fresh snails would give you mouthwatering escargot, you got it wrong! So, what should you do to pick the best snails to make escargot? Keep reading!

  • Since the escargot diet is incompatible with a human’s, the snails have to be starved for a week before use. This flushes the toxins out of their system. You need to ask the seller about the date or time of their catch so that you can do this process.
  • The best snails are those which are harvested a week before you buy them.
  • Best snails are also those snails that have been purged. Purging can be done by feeding them grass or herbs initially. After a day or two, feed them cornmeal or oatmeal. 

What Is The Proper Way Of Cleaning Snails To Make Escargot?

If you are all set to make escargot, you must know that snails have to be cleaned well before using them for cooking. The following steps should help you with that process:

  • Boil about four cups of water in a pot and add two tablespoons of baking soda to it.
  • Add the snail shells to the water and boil for about three minutes.
  • After draining and rinsing the shells, pat them dry and set them on a baking sheet. 
  • To clean the snail, remove the membrane covering the shell with a knife after taking them out of the mixture of baking soda and water.
  • Fill another pot with fresh water and put the snails into it.
  • Throw away the snails which float on top.
  • Rub two to three snails at a time with your fingers and repeat the same process for cleaning all of the snails.
  • Once you are done cleaning, repeat the same process twice or thrice, changing the water every time.

How To Prepare Delicious Escargot?

I hope you have made up your mind to try escargot. You need the help of a good recipe to enjoy tasty, delicious escargot, right? The following recipe will guide you to make excellent escargot.

Ingredients

  • Snails
  • 1 Garlic head
  • 12 slices of baguette
  • ½ cup of white wine (110 ml)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 4 ounces of butter (112 g)
  • An ounce of parsley leaves

Directions

  • In a small saucepan, saute white wine, shallot, and the snails and bring it to simmer. Cook them for about 15 minutes, and then drain the snails. Keep them aside. 
  • Blend parsley and garlic until they are chopped well in a food processor. Afterward, add butter to the mix and blend until it becomes a smooth paste. 
  • Season the paste with pepper and salt.
  • If snail shells are ready, you can stuff the snails inside and put the parsley-butter paste in the remaining space. 
  • In a baking dish, arrange the snails and keep them in the oven to broil. Your escargot is ready to be served once the butter starts sizzling!
  • You can go for baguette slices if you don’t have snail shells. Saute the baguette slices with butter in a saucepan over a high flame. Once the butter melts, you can add the snails and start relishing escargot.

Best Escargot Pairings

The full flavor of escargot can be enjoyed only if you know what to eat it with. Since escargot is a delicacy rich in fat, you will have to go for food items with a mild, light flavor.

Escargot is best paired with broccoli, zucchini, tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, salad mixes, cereal, cheese, asparagus, carrot, mushrooms, bell peppers, and other vegetables. Escargot is famously associated with wine pairings – a glass of dry or semi-sweet wine can also be paired with escargot. 

Do You Chew Escargot?

The question of whether or not to chew escargot is common, given the slimy nature of escargot. Its slimy nature makes first-timers believe it must be swallowed down without chewing. However, that is not the case.

Escargot can be perfectly chewed due to their soft, chewy, and meaty texture. In fact, it should be chewed like any other seafood. Although swallowing seems easy to get done with eating escargot, chewing ensures you get the best experience of tasting escargot. 

Health Benefits Of Escargot

Escargot is not just to satisfy your taste buds but also to give your body a nutritional treat. Take a look at some of the health benefits of escargot.

  • Escargot is an excellent source of protein and low fat. The amount of protein in escargot is similar to that found in beef and pork.
  • It is devoid of fat, sugar, or carbohydrates, making it an excellent healthy food.
  • It is a good vitamin E, zinc, calcium, and iron source.
  • It is relatively low in calories.
  • Consumption of escargot can boost the immune system.
  • The presence of calcium can aid in the development of strong bones and mitigate the risk of bone-related diseases such as osteoporosis. 
  • Escargot has a good amount of tryptophan which helps improve our mood.

Why Do People Eat Escargot?

I get it. Although you may not deem escargot likable, here is the truth: people have been eating it for quite some time, and it is a popular delicacy for its distinctive taste and texture.

It is mostly to do with the elite tradition of eating escargot. Escargot is indeed expensive, and it is a matter of a lot of money. Moreover, eating escargot provides an ample number of health benefits that are hard to dismiss. So, people eat escargot for fun, taste, and nutritional value.

Nutritional Content of Escargot

In a serving of escargot (85g), the following nutritional values are observed:

Calories77
Total Fat1.2 g
Saturated Fat0.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat43 mg
Cholesterol60 mg
Sodium325 mg
Potassium1.7 g
Carbohydrates0 g
Sugars0 g
Protein14 g

Final Word

That was all about escargot and its taste. I hope the article broadened your knowledge of escargot, its taste, its texture, its method of cooking, and its health benefits. Escargot is a French delicacy made using snails, garlic, butter, and parsley.

Although eating snails is taboo in many cultures, their consumption has never been low. Its unique taste, texture, and health benefits are also some of the reasons behind it. If you ever stumble upon escargot, try it and let me know your opinion. See you soon with another article!

Frequently Asked Questions

How would you describe escargot?

Escargot is a French delicacy prepared using snails, garlic, butter and parsley. The word escargot is French for snails.

Is escargot supposed to be chewy?

Escargot is supposed to be chewy since they lose a major part of their weight during cooking.

Can escargot make you sick?

If escargot is not cleaned, washed and purged properly, its consumption can make you sick. That is because the contents of their diet can be toxic to humans.

Are snails healthy to eat?

Snails are healthy to eat since they are packed with protein, iron, calcium, vitamins and minerals. 

What is the difference between snail and escargot?

Escargot is French for snails. It is also a dish made of snails served in snail shells.

Do you have to starve a snail before you eat it?

Snails have to be starved for a week or at least ten days before consumption. This helps to remove toxins from their bodies.

Is escargot a meat or fish?

Escargot is neither a meat nor fish. It is an edible land snail that is enjoyed as a delicacy.

Is escargot an acquired taste?

Escargot is not an acquired taste for French but for Americans.

What kind of snails are escargot?

Not all species of snails are edible. Turkish snails, European garden snails, and Burgundy snails are usually considered escargot and used for preparing the same.

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