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Why do the French eat snails (and how to eat them properly)?

Gaston de Persigny
Gaston de Persigny
Gaston de Persigny - Reporter at The European Times News

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DISCLAIMER: Information and opinions reproduced in the articles are the ones of those stating them and it is their own responsibility. Publication in The European Times does not automatically means endorsement of the view, but the right to express it.

Snails have been eaten for tens of thousands of years

The trip is a thrill not only because it meets us with beautiful views, unfamiliar places and interesting people, but also because it makes us realize how different people are in the world and how little we know about each other.

For example, if you saw a snail in your garden after holding it, what would you do with it? Few would put it in a dinner pot, but in France, eating snails has become an emblem of the country, although not all French people are snail fans.

Where does it all start?

The truth is that snails have been eaten for thousands of years, even tens of thousands. Excavations near the Spanish city of Benidorm have found roasted snail shells near 30,000-year-old human remains.

It is also known that the Romans raised snails on special farms, fed them barley and watered them with wine. According to some theories, it was the Romans who introduced the ancestors of today’s French to this delicacy when they conquered their lands in 58 BC.

In the Middle Ages, the snail gradually lost its place on the French table, but in the 20th century it returned triumphantly.

It is believed that the first real star moment of the snails was during the meeting in Paris between Russian Tsar Alexander I and French Foreign Minister Charles Maurice de Talleyrand. To impress the Russian monarch with something unseen, Talleyrand ordered snails to be served to him, and Alexander I remained fascinated.

Snails in French cuisine today

According to various estimates, the French eat between 20,000 and 60,000 tons of snails every year!

Today in French restaurants you can find traditional recipes and modern readings of the snail as a dish – baked with brie, in wine, with butter, garlic and parsley. Search for the word “escargot” in the menu. All snails that are served in the restaurants are raised on special farms and fed on top quality food. And the taste is similar to that of other mollusks such as oysters and mussels.

How to eat a snail in France?

First, grab the shell with a special snail clip or a napkin. To remove the snail from the shell, you need to use a special fork for snails – it has two teeth and is slightly rounded.

Usually snails will be offered sauces in which you can dip the cooked mollusks.

Finish with a sip of white wine.

Ready! You are almost French now!

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