Many people mistakenly believe that preparation a delicious dish at home is impossible. Experience shows that preparation of snails is simple. It would seem that the using this unusual product for food is puzzling, but the final product justifies all expectations and destroys stereotypes about the complexity of cooking.
It is impossible to say who the first creator of this gastronomic masterpiece was. Some suppose they were primitive people engaged in gathering; the others think about the ancient Greeks, who appreciated the usefulness of this product; or the French, who invented unique recipes for cooking. However, this dish has gained thousands of gourmets, who value it for exclusiveness and delicacy.
In the period of the first settlers of the Earth, snail meat was the most accessible source of nutrients. Those people consumed everything, including berries, mushrooms, grass and snails. They were cooked on bonfires, without paying much attention to their taste. Indeed the result was important. They threw snails into the fire until it is ready.
The ancient Greeks were selective in food. They valued their health, strength and endurance. Therefore, their menu consisted of useful products, one of which was mollusks. The incredible amount of protein contained in their meat made snails their favorites. At those times, the cooks perfectly understood the spices, fragrant herbs and cooking techniques. Therefore, they were the first to invent a combination of snails meat with spicy herbs, thus emphasizing the taste of meat. In the culinary books of that period (1 century BC — 2 century AD), recipes for the preparation of such delicacies are still preserved.
It is difficult to tell the first inventor of the classic recipe of the escargot, which is now considered a traditional in France. There is a legend that the recipe for this delicacy came up spontaneously and unexpectedly. The cook, to whom the important guest arrived unexpectedly, tried to hide the absence of meat, by replacing traditional beef with the first thing that came to hand. They were. Rumors say that this delicacy was so adored by the guest that he ordered the chefs to cook it for holidays. This period marks the development of escargot receipt history. The classic recipe includes the following ingredients:
Variations of «escargot» are still in the process of formation and creation of new receipts, adding new and tasty ingredients. The presence of butter, greens and garlic remains unchanged. If walnut is added, the dish will be called «snails in a limousine», while presence of the roasted peanuts will make the dish “in Somiersky”», meanwhile Dijon mustard will add piquancy. There are many examples and all countries are preparing them in their own way. Escargot can be found in the frozen form. It is a half-cooked dish, so all you need is to place it into the oven, bake for 10 minutes and serve with baguette or croutons. We can say that the escargot is the most common and famous recipe for shellfish, .since the dish is creamy, tender and fragrant.
The French have a recipe, named after the great commander Napoleon. Mollusks are prepared in a spicy tomato sauce, with addition of mushrooms and almonds. It is called «snail Napoleon».
France is not the only country, where people love and respect this delicacy. The Spaniards introduced a whole tradition of eating escargot. Karakoish is a traditional snack for beer in the Portuguese. They are boiled for several hours in a spicy broth, and are eaten with hands, being washed down with beer. There are many establishments that prepare this delicacy for residents and visitors of the city. From May to August, a huge amount of karacoish is consumed. «Caracoles a la madrileña» is another Spanish delicacy. A burning dish with bright spices colors excites appetite. Escargot is stewed with a jamon with spices.
Italians decorate the dish with all sorts of aromatic herbs, sauces and spices. They changed the recipe for traditional ravioli to add the tender curd cheese with snails. The dish was called cappelletti. They are small dumplings with ricotta and parmesan. Traditional polenta was also changed. Corn flour is boiled to a dense consistency, cooled and cut. Mollusks, stewed in brandy and spices are covered with Parmesan cheese. When the dish is placed into oven, polenta is ready. In addition, the Italians prepare classic pasta with an unusual ingredient, cover it with creamy sauce, and add fillets to soups and mashed potatoes and salads.
The Turks prepare plakhea, which consists of stewed vegetables with spices and tomatoes. Later this dish became traditional for Bulgaria, but mollusks were added into this receipt. The dish is cooked in the oven on low heat, so that all vegetables interact with each other, and the presence of flour in the recipe, can turn it into a real vegetable pie.
As you see, there are a lot of cooking options for these small animals. Snails’ meat is so delicately combined with all products that only a real connoisseur can distinguish it.