National Escargot Day is celebrated every year on May 24 and it honors the tasty French appetizer. Snails are commonly eaten in France and they’re referred to with the French word ‘escargot.’ They’re super expensive and are prepared with butter and garlic, and served in their shell. The French consume a lot of snails each year.
History of National Escargot Day
No one really knows who started this day or when. But hey, there can never be too many fun food holidays, right? National Escargot Day celebrates the delicious edible snail, known as ‘escargot’ in France. The origins of this dish date back to ancient Roman times with archeological evidence showing signs of people having eaten it. It’s believed that the Romans fed snails wine and barley to make them more appetizing and regarded this as an elite dish that was fit for emperors.
However, it’s not possible to eat all species of snails and many are too small to be cooked and consumed. There are also other factors to consider such as the taste of different species. In France, the most consumed species is the Helix pomatia. Escargot is not eaten across the globe but in some countries like France, Spain, and Portugal, it is often enjoyed as a starter.
These gastropods are served grilled and in their shells. A metal pick that comes along with it is used to remove the meat from the shell to eat it. In France, people can also buy these snails in cans along with a carton of empty snails and specially dimpled plates for serving. Believe it or not, edible snails are actually quite good for you as they’re protein-rich, are low in fats, and are packed with potassium, vitamin E, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and selenium.
Over the years, this dish has gained popularity with edible snails achieving huge sales and it’s no wonder this day is celebrated with much excitement.
National Escargot Day timeline
A recipe for edible snails is found in the oldest surviving cookbook by the author Apicius.
The Tsar of Russia Alexander I eats Escargots à la Bourguignonne for the first time, prepared by Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord’s chef.
Edible snails are brought to California.
Escargots become a $300-million-a-year business in the United States.
National Escargot Day FAQs
Who celebrates National Escargot Day?
While escargots belong to French cuisine, the day is celebrated in many other countries apart from France such as Spain, Portugal, Greece, etc.
What is the difference between snails and escargot?
Snails are of the many animals of the Gastropoda class and escargot is edible snails belonging to the French cuisine.
Are garden snails the same as escargot?
We often think of garden snails when we think of this species. The brown snails are the same type of escargots that are eaten in restaurants. However, it is worth noting that it can be dangerous to eat garden snails if they have ingested poisons.
How To Celebrate National Escargot Day
It’s time to hone your chef skills on National Escargot Day by making your own escargot. It does not require too many ingredients and is fairly easy to make. You can look up some recipes and plate up this fancy French delicacy.
Go out for escargot
If you’ve never tried escargot, National Escargot Day is a great time to treat your taste buds with this delicacy. You can go to any French restaurant, order a plate, and enjoy. Bon appétit!
Learn how to eat escargot
While escargots are easy to prepare, they can be intimidating to actually eat. Go to a French restaurant with someone who has eaten escargots before and learn how to eat this delicious appetizer.
5 Facts About Escargot That Will Blow Your Mind
Heliculture is the science of growing snails, particularly to eat them.
The snails that are raised on farms to be eaten are fed ground cereal.
The French eat a lot of snails
The French consume approximately 40,000 metric tons of snails each year.
Restaurants in the U.S. serve around one billion snails annually.
They can be medicinal
Some research shows that snail slime can be used to treat stomach ulcers.
Why We Love National Escargot Day
Escargots are a delicacy
Escargots aren’t favored everywhere and therefore they’re considered a delicacy. Eating escargots is surely an acquired taste and National Escargot Day is a great day to expand your palette.
Escargots can be healthy
Don’t worry if you’re health-conscious because escargots are super healthy! They’re packed with protein and other essential vitamins and nutrients. So don’t miss out on devouring this delicacy.
It’s a food holiday
What’s better for a foodie than another food holiday? National Escargot Day is a great opportunity for everyone to unleash their inner foodie and try these French delectables.
National Escargot Day dates