On the danish version of this blogMerete jokingly commented(in danish) that you can eat the burgundy snail. This comment made me do the effort to find my uncle’s recipe for escargots. Svend Holt had a small snail farm, and sold the prepared escargots to gourmet restaurents. They were popular, and I would like to share his recipe:

My uncle’s escargots

Burgundy snails comes in two sizes. The small ones must grow a year more, pick only the big ones.

Feed the snails boiled spaghetti in a dry cage. They eat the spaghetti, and when all feces is white, and the snail have retires to their houses it’s time to boil the water.

Add the snails one at a time, and boil for 2 min. Now you can twist the snail out of the house, holding the snail with a tiny fork, and try to get even the tiniest curl out of the house. Cut off the curls (intestines), and work the snails with coarse salt to rub off the mucus.

In a mixture of 1/3 water and 2/3 white wine add 5 great onions, a few cloves, 1 celery, 2 leeks, 4 carrots in slices, 1 teaspoon grounded white pepper, 2 spoons of salt, 1 bunch of parsley, 2 twigs of thyme and 4 laurel leaves.

Boil snails 4 hours, or 105 min. in a pressurecooker.
Meanwhile clean the houses thoroughly in washing soda solution. Control by holding them up against the light. There must be no remains of the snail in the house. Houses must fall to the bottom of the water.

After boiling strain, and freze the surplus of escargots in the soup. They stay fresh in the freezer at least a year.

Serve with garlic butter in the house, then the escargot and top with parsley butter. Heat them for 10-12 min. at 120 C.

This recipe is for 100-200 burgundy snails.

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Burgundy snail Helix pomatia

Weeding in the garden, I stumbled upon the burgundy snail. I must have looked frightening with the hoe in my hand, the snail quickly withdraw the tentacles. Could it speak I surely had heard it say: “I’m no killer slug”.

The burgundy snail is a welcome guest in the garden, just as the leopard slug. Together they are the reason I do not use slug poison, slug nematodes or the beer traps. The have their place in the ecosystem in the garden, the live here in moderate numbers and they are a joy to meet. Slugs and snail are also health food for the toad – he who rules in the garden. Only in case of a serious slug attack will I try to moderate the slug balance in the garden. It could very well happen this summer, as the “killer slug” was reported in the next street last summer. For that reason I’m alert on slugs this year, hope to stop them “at the gate”, and hope for help from the toad, the leopard slug and the burgundy snail.