Snails are sold frozen, canned, or cooked. In France and certain other countries, it is also possible to buy live snails.
Fresh or cooked snails can be refrigerated put a weight on top of it to prevent the snails from escaping; for up to 3 days, and shelled snails can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Preparing Live Snails
- Wash the snails in cold water; if necessary, remove the hard partition covering the opening of the shell;
- Disgorge the snails (3 – 4 dozen) for 3 hours in a mixture of coarse salt (a handful), vinegar (
Snails are often served in a special dish (escargotiere) divided into 6 or 12 sections. They can be prepared in many different ways: grilled, sautéed, or cooked on brochettes or in sauces, court bouillon, or puff pastry. A snail served piping hot in garlic butter is a classic appetizer.