How to Eat Snails

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Snails, also called escargot, are typically served on odd looking plates with strange utensils. Knowing a little snail etiquette can save a lot of embarrassment.

Things You'll Need

  • Escargot plate
  • Snail tongs
  • Snail fork
  • Dinner roll
  • Anticipate a snail. Expect six snails with shells intact when ordering escargot.

  • Examine the plate. Six cavities hold each snail in place. A rim prevents spillage of the garlic butter sauce.

  • Locate utensils. Proper etiquette calls for snail tongs and a slender two-pronged snail fork. Find these to the right of the plate.

  • Select a snail. Use the tongs to grip and hold the shell in place.

  • Remove the meat. Use the snail fork to pull out the contents of the shell.

  • Experience the snail. Appreciate the texture. Fresh snails are a bit rubbery, while canned snails are more tender. Enjoy their delicate earthy taste.

  • Savor the sauce. Tear off a small piece of dinner roll. Using the snail fork, dip the roll into the sauce. Repeat until the sauce or roll is gone.

Tips & Warnings

  • Instead of snail tongs, a cloth napkin can be used to handle the hot snail shells.
  • A pick can be used in place of a snail fork to remove the meat from the shell.
  • Don't dip an unbroken dinner roll in the sauce. Avoid tearing an entire roll into small pieces in advance of dipping. Both practices are considered a breach of etiquette.

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