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Jul 14, 2010 03:16 PM

Canned Snails

Long story, but I've acquired a couple cans of canned snails. Are they any good? What should I do with them? I don't even know if they are cooked or not.

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  1. Yes they are cooked and depending on quality "good"
    Lots of recipes to be fond out in the ether.
    A few of my favorites, Ginataang Suso, Caracoles Andaluzes, Escargot Bourguignon, Herb and Snail Tartlettes, Paella with Snails and Pork, Ốc nhồi lá gừng (Lemongrass-Infused Snails with Spicy Soy Sauce ) Thai Snail Curry / Gaeng Hoy Khom.
    That should get you started.

    1. Yes I've used canned snails too and they are good just drain and give them a quick rinse, my favorite way to cook them is a light salad in a warm bacon dressing

      Start with pancetta bacon render fat add thinly sliced shallots cook a minute or so, add escargot and small amount of chopped sage cook long enough to heat up take off heat and add a sqeeze of lemon and EVOO just enough to make a light viniagrette in the pan, season, then add to a salad bowl with fresh field greens so they lighty wilt and dress the greens

      1. Saute in clarified butter with minced garlic, parsley, salt, fresh ground pepper just until heated through, little lemon juice and a splash of sauterne at the end.
        Serve on toast points........delicoius!

        1 Reply
        1. re: mrbigshotno.1

          Prepared this way and chopped makes a great stuffed mushroom.

        2. Somewhat of a variation of Escargot Bourguignon: sauté snails in garlic and shallot butter, add burgundy, reduce, a splash of pernod, a leaf or two of fresh torn basil, mount whole unsalted butter, adjust seasoning, serve in puff pastry shells.

          1. Thanks everyone. I think I'm going to keep it simple and do one of the butter-sauté recipes for starters.

            How do restaurants get their snails? Are they fresh?

            7 Replies
            1. re: barryg

              Depends on the restaurant. Most old school French places use canned. The fresh ones are rather labor intensive.

              1. re: chefj

                Exactly, I have only used canned. There is a popular chow poster here who once mentioned she had the proper eating snail variety in her garden, but I'm not sure if she actually harvested them for consumption.

                1. re: bushwickgirl

                  I have them by the ton in my garden. They are all over the neighborhood too. But they are much smaller than the canned ones, and wouldn't be worth the effort. I guess they could be steamed and eaten with a toothpick, like periwinkles (same size), but with all that slime they need lots of preparation. I have heard that the large brown garden slugs can be eaten the same way as escargot, with the same preparation, but....yucch! The canned ones are decent, but have a metallic taste that is best covered up with lots of garlic. By the way, does anyone have a recipe for fresh Helix snails? I once saw them sold live in a market..and they were they same small size as the ones in my garden.

                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                    I believe that all the snails here in CA are the eat'n kind. First you need to collect, then hold and feed till clean, then wash, then cook and finally pick. Oh and now you need to do something with them. They are superior though.
                    I think that the Korean markets carry them frozen in the shell raw, but they may be Sea Snails.

                    1. re: chefj

                      Unfortunately I have many slugs, and I couldn't consider eating them. As EricMM wrote, yucch! I have seen some very small helix snails in my backyard lately but not enough to harvest.

                      1. re: bushwickgirl

                        Use an iron phosphate based slug killer, like Sluggo...totally harmless to people and animals, but lethal to slugs, and more effective than the chemicals. After a few years the slug population in your yard will drop. The snail population will rise...its just as toxic to snails, but they aren't attracted to the bait, so they don't eat it. Not sure if replacing slugs with snails is a good idea...but I have noticed that the snails seem to have a preference for trees over other plants.

                        1. re: EricMM

                          Thanks for the info. I have noticed the slug population drop over the last few years. We had our own night of the slugs when I first moved here, the back door was open and it was raining; I went to close the door and there were at least 20 slugs crawling up the door, on the floor (looking for the dry cat food bowl, I suspect) and just generally hanging out in the house. Sorta creepy. It woud have been a good time to harvest, if I was at all interested in consuming them.