What Do Snails Taste Like?


Quick Answer: What Do Snails Taste Like?

Simple cooked and unseasoned Snails have an earthy taste, with strong similarities with the taste of mushrooms, and sometimes like mussels or chicken. Snails, after they are seasoned and sautéed, tend to adopt the taste of whatever sauce or condiment they are seasoned in. 

This is a well-researched guide to what Snails exactly taste like.

Let’s dive right in!

What Are Snails?

Snails, more commonly referred to as Escargots is a well-known European intricacy savored in other parts like Greece, Morocco, and Vietnam that enjoys them as a portion of refreshing street food.

Snails are a great source of protein with very low amounts of fat, and also provide calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamins A and E. 

What Do Snails Taste Like?

Snails or Escargots are said to taste like a meaty bite of mushrooms, earthy with buttery smoothness. They are also often compared to the taste of chicken and firmly cooked fish. However, Snails assume the flavor of the condiments, sauces, and herbs they are cooked in.

The most common ingredients to cook Snails are butter, garlic, olive oil, and wine or vinegar. Hence the Snails have a buttery aroma and smoothness from these additions along with a very subtle saline flavor. Snails die when they come in contact with salt though. 

Cooked Snails do not have a particularly appetizing appearance- ash gray, but once you have taken a bite, you will surely go in for another.

Escargot platter delicacies are usually bright green in hue when served due to being cooked in butter-herb sauce.

Here is your homecooked guide to Snails!  

What Is The Texture Of Snails Like?

The texture of Snails is not much different from that of clams or shrimps and even overcooked mushrooms. It is somewhat hard and chewy, a little like soft rubber.  Once cooked, the once smooth Snail becomes tense and wrinkly but still moist enough.

Contrary to a lot of opinions, cooked Snails are neither soft nor slimy but rather are firm and tough and need to be chewed well to experience their true flavors.

Are All Snails Edible?

No, not all land Snails should be consumed. The safest and most annually consumed Snails are the  Roman snail (Helix pomatia) and the garden snail (Helix aspersa). They are a special delicacy in Europe, especially France. 

Although not poisonous, freshwater snails are not edible as these parasites can penetrate, live and even decay in human blood vessels.

Some land Snails may have lungworm which, if eaten unchecked can pass on to the person and leave them diseased.

Do Snails And Clams Taste Alike?

Snails and Clams do have similar taste patterns and are both mollusk creatures, those with an outer shell to protect them. They are both firm and chewy when cooked the proper way. Snails and Clams, have a subtle flavor and take over the taste of ingredients they are cooked in.

They also have a slightly saline taste but are not noticeable with the heavy garlic butter taste that they are most often indulged in.

Can You Eat Snails Raw?

No, Snails are not meant to be eaten raw and can cause serious illness if done so. Edible land snails must be properly cooked for them to be safe for consumption. Freshly picked Snails are also not to be eaten immediately even if that seems like a reasonable thing to do.

The lungworm may be living inside a snail and eating it raw and unchecked can pass itself to the eater’s system.

Snails must be starved and purged to release all harmful toxins out of it, which takes about 7 days after it is picked.

Only then can it be cooked and consumed.

Are Snails Chewy Or Soft?

Fully cooked Snails do tend to be chewy but not inedible and bubblegum-like. Since most places in Europe serve heavily buttered Snails or Escargots, what goes in your mouth is tender and smooth, can easily melt in your mouth.

Some places serve softer Snails but all must be chewed or whole Snails may be hard to digest for some.

Extremely soft Snails might be undercooked and need some more time to be safely edible.

Do Snails Taste Like Shrimp?

Snails do taste very much like Shrimp, but gooey. Cooked shrimps may come out dry but cooked Snails remain moist unless they are overcooked. Both tend to shrink to almost half their size once placed in boiling water. 

Both Snails and Shrimps are adaptive enough to take over the taste of whatever ingredients they are cooked in, butter being the most favorite.

How To Make Snails Taste Better?

Since Snails can easily adapt to whatever condiments they are cooked in, their taste can be escalated by boiling in salted water, or by cooking them in wine or wine sauce. Butter seems to be the most favored flavor when tasting Snails.

They can also be cooked with others like mushrooms, which is another French favorite.

They are also well compatible with seafood and can be enjoyed in a seafood boil.

Are Snails Slimy When Eaten?

Fully cleaned and cooked Snails are not slimy or soft. Raw uncooked Snails are said to be slimy and squishy. But once placed into boiling water, Snails shrink to almost half their size and become tough yet remain tender enough to eat.

If your cooked Snails are still slimy, you may have to cook them for a little longer.

In The End

I hope this descriptive guide through the buttery taste of Snails helped you get a taste of each one.

I would love for you to get back to me with any queries or feedback.

Do share this treasured bite of delicious Escargots with your friends and family to invite them to the same journey through distinct flavors across the world. 

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About Tammy J

Tammy is currently studying in college. While attending, she has broadened her horizons by experimenting with food from all over the world, but she has a special love for Mexican and Indian cuisine. She loves traveling with her friends, and enjoys nothing more than packing up a few backpacks and hitting the open road to explore natural beauty.