Snail caviar aphrodisiac
Snail Caviar is a delicacy in France. When you hear ‘caviar’ you normally think of fish eggs. But the origin of the word comes from the ancient Persian ‘khaya’, meaning ‘egg’, with no mention of fish. And so why not Snail Caviar?
But before you go digging around in the garden in a sort of gross Easter Egg Hunt, remember that it’s only one sort of snail that is used for snail caviar: the Gros gris or ‘Fat Grey’ one.
Each snail can lay up to a hundred eggs a year (about 4 grams). Understandably, Snail Caviar is a luxury item with a pricetag to match, typically fetching about €2,000 per kilogram / £1,500 per kilogram.
For a 100g tub of snail caviar a farmer would need at least 25 snails.
A snail is a he and a she
Luckily for snail egg farmers, snails are hermaphrodites (with both male and female reproductive bits) so every snail has the ability to lay eggs.
Snail Caviar is particularly popular in France where they call it Caviar d’escargot, White Caviar or Perles de France.
What’s it taste like?
Snail caviar is said to have a subtle earthy taste like the smell of a forest and has notes of mushroom. It is often served with blinis, sour cream and champagne.
Some say Snail Caviar is an aphrodisiac
Snail Caviar was also a delicacy in the ancient world and was considered an excellent aphrodisiac. It was known as “Pearls of Aphrodite” (Aphrodite being the ancient Greek goddess of love and passion).
Bonus fact – How to prepare snails for eating
I have heard this from various French people that I have met:
Before you go picking up a snail* and popping it in the oven you need to make sure it’s not full of dangerous toxins. To do this, you catch the snails and keep them in a tub and feed them only carrots until their pooh starts coming out orange, then you know that they have are clean inside (and haven’t eaten anything awful recently like excrement)
- Not all snails are edible, the most common edible snail is the Helix pomatia
Recipe for Snail Caviar Ravioli
Ingredients (4 people)
10 cl of chicken broth
10 cl of fresh cream
1/2 bunch of watercress
20 gr of butter
Freshly ground pepper
Direct from producers on Pourdebon logo
32 square Asian ravioli
100 gr of potato pulp
2 egg yolks
20 gr of butter
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
15 gr of snail caviar
Direct from producers Pourdebon logo
A few watercress leaves
– Make the watercress juice:
Sweat the sliced onion in butter.Add the watercress tails and sauté for a few minutes.
Add the crème fraîche and the chicken broth and season.
Cook for ten minutes.
Add the watercress leaves and cook for 1 minute.
Mix immediately to keep the color and switch to Chinese.
– Make the ravioli:
Drain and sauté the snails in foamy butter.
Add the chopped garlic and parsley off the heat. Cool.
Make the ravioli and stuff them with a snail and a potato pulp nut, soldering them to the egg yolks.
Cook the ravioli for 3 minutes in simmering water.
Place the ravioli in hot soup plates Drizzle with watercress juice
Add a little snail caviar Garnish with a few watercress leaves …
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