Tales from

the Loir

A Weekly Column

27 December 2000 - Summer Dreaming: Escargot

It is cold in Loir et Cher. Days are short and nights very, very long. After a life spent in the Deep South, French Winters take some getting used to for me. I'm enjoying the holiday season, but I catch myself daydreaming of Summer and of the warm long days, and most of all for the crunch of escargot underfoot in the garden. In honor of summer which is the just reward of all those who live through winter I give you the local recipe for escargot. Eat some now and raise a toast to summer. Being winter, the snails will come from the market or a can but the promise of summer pleasure rests still inside each succulent shell.

Escargot is not something that you pop in a pot of boiling water like shrimp or crabs. The process from garden to dinner table takes about three weeks. After gathering the snails you put them in a box to maigrir (loose weight) for a couple of weeks. Then they are washed and cleaned a number of times before they are ready for butter, garlic, etc. and the oven. Here is the recipe that Claude Chêne gave me. For those who aren't fortunate enough to have a garden source of snails, this recipe works quite well with canned or fresh escargot from a gourmet market and without the need to wait three weeks.

Escargots à la Bourguignonne (Escargots Moulin de Beaumé)
For 50 escargots

250 grams of butter
15 grams of shallots
15 grams of parsley
10 grams of garlic
Pepper, salt, spices
6 filets of anchovies
1 centiliter of Pastis
Mix the above ingredients all to together (called the beurre d'escargots)

A little white wine
50 grams of bread crumbs

1. Put a little of the beurre d'escargots at the bottom of each shell.
2. Then put a snail in the shell next.
3. Then close the shell with the same beurre d'escargots by compressing tightly.
4. Arrange the escargot on a platter and soak each one with a little white wine.
5. Sprinkle the butter with fine bread crumbs and put in the ovens on high for 8 minutes at the maximum.


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December 20, 2000 - Let Them Eat Cake
December, 13 2000 - Back to France
November 29, 2000 -Beignets Aux Fleurs d'Acacia
November 15, Thanksgiving
November 8, Pouse D'Epine
November 1, 2000 Col de Vence: A day on the Moon
October 25, 2000 Cult of the Black Virgin
October 18, 2000 Harvesting Grapes by Hand
October 4, 2000 Provence: All Good Things




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