Grape snails, also known as Escargots, are a popular delicacy in French cuisine. However, they are not just a tasty treat; they also offer a range of health benefits. Therefore, before you decide, then plunge with us on a gastronomic tour. You will learn about the benefits of grape snails, what to look for when buying them, and the best ways to cook them.
Benefits of Grape Snails
Grape snails are rich in protein, low in fat, and contain important vitamins and minerals. They are a good source of iron, magnesium, and calcium, which are essential for strong bones and healthy blood. Grape snails are also a rich source of vitamin B12, which is important for brain function and the production of red blood cells.
Additionally, grape snails are low in calories and high in fiber, making them excellent food for weight management. They are also low in carbohydrates, which can be beneficial for people with diabetes or those following a low-carbohydrate diet.
Type of escargots
While there are many different types of escargots available, some of the most popular include:
Also known as the Roman snail or Burgundy snail, this is one of the most popular types of escargots. It is native to Europe and is typically larger in size than other varieties. Helix pomatia has a distinctive spiral shell that is often used as a serving dish for cooked snails.
This is another popular variety of escargot, also known as the garden snail or petit-gris. It is smaller in size than Helix pomatia and has a darker, more pointed shell. Helix aspersa is often used in French cuisine and is also popular in North America.
This is a large, East African species of snail that is also commonly known as the giant African snail. Achatina fulica is considered an invasive species in many parts of the world, but it is also bred and consumed as a food source in some cultures.
This is a type of land snail that is found in many parts of Europe and is often used in French cuisine. It has a brownish-yellow shell and is smaller in size than Helix pomatia.
Where to Buy Grape Snails?
If you’re looking to buy snails for your next culinary adventure, there are several places you can visit.
1. Visit local grocery stores
Many supermarkets now sell a range of specialty products, including snails. Look for them in the frozen food section or ask your grocer for help. You can also visit gourmet shops or specialty food stores in your area. These stores often stock a wider range of snails, including fresh, canned, and frozen options.
2. Shop From Reputable Online Stores
Some popular options include Amazon, Whole Foods, and specialty food sites like Gourmet Food Store and Marx Foods. When shopping online, be sure to check the seller and product reviews to make sure you’re getting high-quality snails.
3. Buy snails from a snail farm
Many snail farms offer their products for sale to the public, either online or at farmers’ markets and food festivals. Buying directly from a snail farm ensures you get fresh, organic snails that are free of harmful chemicals and antibiotics.
What to Look for When Buying Grape Snails?
When buying grape snails, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that you are getting the best quality product.
If buying fresh grape snails, look for alive and active snails. They should be kept in a cool, moist environment, such as a damp towel or a container with a damp paper towel.
Whether buying fresh or canned, ensure that the snails have been properly cleaned and prepared. This includes removing the snail from its shell and cleaning it thoroughly to remove any debris or impurities.
When buying canned or frozen grape snails, consider the size of the snail. Larger snails tend to have a tougher texture, while smaller snails are more tender.
When is the Best Time to Buy Grape Snails?
Grape snails are available year-round, but their availability may vary depending on your location. If you are looking to buy fresh grape snails, the best time to do so is during their peak season, which is typically from late spring to early fall.
If you are buying canned or frozen grape snails, they can be purchased at any time of the year. However, it is still important to consider the freshness and quality of the product, regardless of the time of year.
How Much Do Grape Snails Cost?
The cost of grape snails can vary depending on the product’s type, quality, and source. Fresh grape snails tend to be more expensive than canned or frozen but also offer a higher quality product. On average, you can expect to pay between $10–$15 per pound for fresh grape snails, and $20-$30 per can for canned or frozen snails.
Cooking Methods for Grape Snails
Grape snails can be prepared in a variety of ways, depending on personal preference and the dish being prepared. Here are a few common cooking methods:
To cook fresh grape snails, they can be boiled for a few minutes until they are fully cooked. After boiling, they can be removed from the shell and used in various dishes.
The most common way to prepare grape snails is by baking them in a garlic herb butter sauce. They are typically served in their shells, which have been cleaned and prepared before baking.
Grape snails can also be sauteed in a pan with garlic and butter, and served as a side dish or added to pasta dishes.
Ways to Use Grape Snails
When prepared properly, escargots can be a tasty and nutritious addition to your diet. Here are some creative ways to use escargots in your cooking:
Classic Escargot: The most traditional way to prepare escargots is to cook them in garlic butter and herbs. This classic dish can be served as an appetizer or as a main course. You can add a healthy twist to this recipe by using grass-fed butter and fresh herbs.
Escargot Stuffed Mushrooms: Another delicious way to incorporate escargots into your diet is by stuffing them into mushrooms. The combination of flavors and textures creates a unique dish that is sure to impress your guests. To make this dish even healthier, use whole-grain breadcrumbs and bake the mushrooms instead of frying them.
Escargot Salad: You can also use escargots as a protein source in your salads. Simply toss some cooked escargots with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and a light vinaigrette for a tasty and healthy meal.
Escargot Omelet: Escargots can also be used as a filling for your breakfast omelet. Simply sauté some escargots with onions and peppers, and add them to your beaten eggs. This dish is a great way to start your day with a protein-packed meal.
Escargot Pesto Pasta: If you’re a pasta lover, try adding escargots to your favorite pesto recipe. This creates a unique and flavorful dish that is both healthy and satisfying.
Try this unique product!
Grape snails offer a range of health benefits and are delicious and versatile ingredient. They can be found in specialty food stores, seafood markets, and some gourmet grocery stores, and can be purchased fresh, canned, or frozen. When buying grape snails, it is important to consider freshness, cleanliness, and size. Grape snails can be used in a variety of dishes, including escargot, pasta, appetizers, soups, and stews. They can be prepared by boiling, baking, or sauteing, depending on personal preference and the dish being prepared. So why not try incorporating grape snails into your next meal for a unique and nutritious twist?
The most popular dish featuring grape snails is Escargots à la Bourguignonne. This is a classic French dish where grape snails are cooked in butter, garlic, and parsley, and served in their shells.