Fresh Escargots

I am looking for a source for fresh (not canned) escargots, commonly known as “snails.” Yes, people eat them. Yes, I like them.

I live in Washington state.

Thanks for any leads!

Fresh as in live? Or is frozen okay. If it is, I would check out the fish markets in the area. If no one has them, check again in mid/late Decemberm alot of them are sold around Christmas time.

I know it doesn’t answer the question, but can one grow them? Are they a special type of snail? Would your basic garden variety, um, garden snail work?

The usual snail used in cuisine is Helix pomatia or relatives.

However, given the OPs location I might suggest trying out some Banana Slugs.

I’ve eaten snails from the garden before. They may have eaten poisonous plants before you catch them, so you need to “flush” their digestive systems by feeding them for several days. This guy, who is a professional heliciculturalist, uses:

. The meal that I used to feed my snails was much simpler (I can’t find the recipe now), but then I only tried it once, and I wasn’t raising them in captivity, just taking them from the garden. I fed them for 10 days, IIRC, then — escargots! They were delicious!

Having graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz, I am well familiar with the Banana Slug. Their proliferation is due in great part to their inedibility, distasteful even to birds of prey and other predators. Beautiful to look at; lousy to eat.

Not necessarily. I’d prefer fresh as in harvested, ready-to-eat snails, maybe vacuum packed, rather then live.

Yeah, very few snails live in a vacuum.

Cite? ;j

(You’d love my patio, btw- fresh escargot everywhere- personally I don’t eat hermaphrodites.)

Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles cookbook mentions that virtually no restaurant in America uses fresh snails. They are almost uniformly bought canned and stuffed into cleaned, empty snail shells for service.

Do you happen to have these in your garden?Petit Gris - Helix aspera

If not, they’re now found in Washington gardens.

These are known to the French as “Petit Gris” and are another of the type used as escargot. They were introduced into San Jose here in California decades ago, and spread from there. I’m sure if you ask your neighbors, they’d love to let you collect as many as you like. Just make sure nothing they are was sprayed with pesticides.

A curious thing about these is, for as long as they’ve been in California, none of the native birds have taken to hunting them. Crows will pick at the dead, squished ones, but only the introduced starling makes a meal out of live ones.

I don’t know what kind of snails are in San Bernardino, but here’s what I saw when I worked there. There was a ‘resident roadrunner’ that came to the building in the morning. It would go to the planters to find a snail, then take it to one of the parking abutments and bash it open to eat it. (The snail – not the abutment.) It was neat to see.

Trader Joe’s used to have (in the 1980s) frozen snails stuffed in the shells and packed with garlic butter. They were excellent! I wish they still had them. (And I also wish I was near a Trader Joe’s. :frowning: )

I can’t say as to whether or not I have the above cited snail around here. It’s technically “mountain desert” where I live, and I haven’t noticed much in the way of mollusks/crusataceans at all.

I am looking for something besides canned snails. I assume that such exists, but I haven’t been able to find any, yet.

Some folks here in Berkeley also eat “wild” snails, right out of their yards. They’re flushed not only because of pesticides, but also because what they feed on might give them an unpleasant taste.
Saying “neither canned nor live” doesn’t really leave one much choice. :wink:
I must try snails one day.

Snails Gone Wild - Southern Cal Style
Hotter than you might think.

I probably should’ve corrected that. At least the native birds around Monterey haven’t taken to eating the snails. We don’t have roadrunners here.

Well, they apparently exist around Seattle, so if you’re willing to make a trip there and ask around, you might be able to score some. Helix aspera actually only live within towns and cities here in California. They haven’t gotten out into the wild lands, as far as I know, and our climate is semi-arid here in Monterey.

My neighbor’s 2 ducks keep the slug population to virtually zero in our little neck of the woods. Except for the occasional pile of duck poop, I don’t mind a bit.

No need for correction. I took your post to mean that native birds were not eating a particular species of snail. I’m guessing that the snails in San Bernardino were not the same species as the escargots. I just thought it was interesting seeing the roadrunner using a ‘tool’ to get at the soft bits.

You’re probably going to have a hard time in the Spokane area getting them in grocery stores drmark - you might ask if Albertson’s or one of the other chains will order them for you.

Or you can order them for yourself online from one of the following: