We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Snails

Which Paris hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
7,067 posts
5 reviews
Save Topic
Snails

Dear TA,

We have decided to try snails while in Paris.

Could you describe, please- what can I expect?

I don't like sea food except for some fish ( salmon, tuna).

Which restaurant would you recommend for such experience?

Thank you.

Los Angeles
Destination Expert
for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
Level Contributor
10,922 posts
106 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Snails

I do not believe they are sea snails (they do not taste like sea food). I was a bit timid about trying them but when someone else in our party ordered them, I saw my chance. Yum. They are a lot like some fishes in texture (or something like shrimp), but with no strong taste of their own.

We ate at a café on a side street in Montmartre, I would have no way of recommending one place over another - but I'm sure someone will be able to tell you all about where to find them.

As someone said recently, try one thing new each trip (and I used to say I wouldn't, but it is a good philosophy after all).

Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
21,593 posts
85 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Snails

They are in fact not seafood, so liking sea food is not important. what is important is do you like garlic and butter.

California
Level Contributor
5,640 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Snails

They're sort of like rubbery mushrooms cooked in tons of garlic and butter. Just one little bite per shell. They are served in the shell most places, with a tiny fork to pick the "meat" out with, and escargot tongs to hold the shell while you remove the inside.

Edited: 20 May 2013, 05:15
Sunshine Beach...
Level Contributor
131 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: Snails

I had them served 'au naturel' at La Fayette Gourmet - interestingly, as part of a beautiful seafood platter. They went well with the prawns, oysters and crab, and it was an opportunity to taste them without the ususl smothering garlic sauce. Verdict? ... mild flavour, a little chewy ... nice!

Perpignan, France
Destination Expert
for Languedoc-Roussillon, Perpignan
Level Contributor
7,115 posts
102 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Snails

Jayewatch : what you had was "bigorneaux" sometimes called "escargots de mer" (sea snails). Bigorneaux are seafood, snails aren't.

Paris, France
Level Contributor
25,245 posts
32 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Snails

Snails on a seafood platter are indeed sea snails.

The traditional snails (escargots de Bourgogne) eaten in France come from the forest.

Annette's description is completely accurate: rubbery mushrooms cooked in tons of garlic and butter

Sunshine Beach...
Level Contributor
131 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Snails

Fancy that! Thanks guys!

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
7,067 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Snails

Thank you, guys. I will get adventures in Paris.

Edited: 20 May 2013, 16:41
Buffalo, New York
Level Contributor
32 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Snails

Ever see "Pretty Woman"? Remember the scene where Julia Roberts & Richard Gere go to dinner with Ralph Bellamy and his grandson, and she's served escargots? Snails... with a name that sounds less like they came out of the garden...

The reason I bring this up is the great physical comedy they played out trying to work with tongs and the seafood fork to get the escargot out of the shell. Although it was slightly exaggerated, using the tongs CAN be a bit tricky and can even spoil - out of cussedness and frustration - what could be a delicious first time experience.

Whichever restaurant you choose to try them for the first time, see if they offer an escargot preparation that isn't the traditional 'in-the-shell-with-such-fabulous-butter-and-garlic-and-parsle'. Although I adore escargots prepared that way (and have shells, plates, tongs & forks for preparing at home), I also really like them mixed up in a butter & garlic sauce in pasta (preferably tagliatelle), or wrapped in a chicken cutlet which is then sauteed and served with a beurre citron, or in even baked in a mushroom cap (please, remove the gills!) smothered in a stringy cheese.

Absolutely open your mind and stomach while travelling...

Paris, France
Level Contributor
16,654 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Snails

The garlic, butter and parsley sauce is the best part.