Escargot (Es-car-go) is such a sophisticated word, don’t you think? I mean… you hear “escargot” and you think haute cuisine, not the slimy garden-variety snail.
Have you tried escargot?
The first time I tried this delicacy was in high school. My father was a regular customer of a local French restaurant, Le Chambord in Westport, CT. I was a sophomore and preparing for my first trip abroad. I wanted to try “real” French food before I actually had to survive on it.
Of course, escargot is drenched in garlic butter. I believe you could put garlic butter on tree bark and it would be delicious. However, there are two basic issues with escargot, in my humble opinion.
One: how to eat it. Typically, there are six escargot in the shell on a small serving dish. The first step is to pick up the shell with the specialty tongs. The second step is to use the small fork to ease the snail out of its shell.
The angst of this moment is captured beautifully by Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman (the escargot scene is towards the end, but worth it). Yes, they are indeed “slippery little suckers”
SECOND: the texture. Snails are chewy – really chewy. If you focus on what you are eating rather than the flavor – you could gag. So just enjoy the garlic butter with each bite.
The best part of escargot? The dipping sauce once you are finished.
The bottom of each shell holds this delectable elixir, which is easily soaked up by a small piece of bread. Now THAT is haute cuisine at its finest.