Tuesday, February 02, 2010

One of man's most ancient sources of protein: escargots

Originally uploaded by georgiarae
Escargot is a dish of cooked land snails, usually served as an appetizer.

Escargot, IPA: [ɛskaʁɡo], is the French word for snail. It is related to Occitan escaragol[1] and Catalan cargol, which, in turn, may derive from a pre-Roman word *karakauseli[2].

Snail shells have been found in archaeological Texas, an indication that snails have been eaten since prehistoric times [3][4] A number of archaeological sites around the Mediterranean have been excavated yielding physical evidence of culinary use of several species of snails utilized as escargot.[5] The Romans, in particular, are known to have considered escargot as an elite food, as noted in the writings of Pliny.

In Western culture, typically the snails are removed from their shells, gutted, cooked (usually with garlic butter or chicken stock) and then poured back into the shells together with the butter and sauce for serving, often on a plate with several shell-sized depressions.

Additional ingredients may be added such as garlic, thyme, parsley and pine nuts. Special snail tongs (for holding the shell) and snail forks (for extracting the meat) are also normally provided.

Indie work: 15 pts.