Before dining on the French delicacy, learn about its origins on a tour of L'Escargot du vieil amandier, a snail farm in the northern Ventoux area of Provence, France.
Find out how farmers breed the
helix aspersa (the gray,
common garden variety), what to feed snails to make them taste better, and if
you’re not squeamish, how they feel in your hand.
Open June through September,
the farm costs 4 euros per person, though children under 16 are free. If
you want to take some samples home to taste, canned snails are sold marinated
in hot sauce or in Provencal style, with garlic, white wine and butter.
For the culinary ambitious, Abercrombie and Kent Villas can arrange a
cooking class with a specially trained French chef that walks through how
traditional escargot is prepared. The process involves removing the snails from
their shell, cleaning and boiling them, then stuffing the shell with a mixture
of butter, herbs, garlic and the meat before baking them. Guests can try their
hand at the cooking techniques, and of course, taste the final result.