Escargot, the French word for snail, has been a culinary delicacy for thousands of years.
The best-known varieties today are the vineyard (or Burgundy) snail and the petit-gris. The vineyard snail, grows to about 1 3/4 inches and has a yellowish brown shell. These snails dine on grape leaves and are considered the best eating.
The smaller French petit-gris, which is about 1 inch in length, has a brownish-gray shell and flesh.
Traditionally, snails are served baked in the shell with a sauce of garlic, shallots, parsley and butter.
Selecting and Storing Escargot
Fresh snails are available year-round and can be found in specialty markets. Canned snails and packaged snail shells are available in gourmet markets and many supermarkets.