What's the Deal with Snails?

Snails are the stereotypical French food. It's what everyone thinks all French people eat. Growing up people always asked me if I eat a lot of snails; if on rainy days I collected all the snails crawling around to eat. But the truth is that snails gross me out, so trying snails this year was just not going to happen. But I have tried snails, at Christmas. It was an accident, which is probably for the better because the way it was made was very good. So it turns out that the idea of snails is grosser than the actual snail.

I remember being little, going to a restaurant with my parents, and my dad ordering escargot. I remember him convincing me to try it, and while the squishiness of the snail wasn't the most appetizing, the sauce that came with it was amazing. So at Christmas, while everyone was served a plate with a variety of appetizers, I tasted a puff pastry with a great sauce and something squishy inside. It didn't taste bad, the sauce was amazing, it was just squishy. Now I'm not sure if I'm going to be ordering a plate full of snails at a restaurant any time soon, but I think they're actually kind of good, when I don't know what I'm eating.

So how are snails traditionally prepared? Snails are usually taken out of their shell to be cooked. And they can be cooked in a variety of sauces, like broth or wine. But the best is the garlic and butter sauce. Snails are high in protein and low in fat, but forget about that when you see how much butter is added to make them delicious. Not all snails are edible, so don't go picking up random snails to eat. And while most of the time snails are served inside their shell, you may come across a few surprises like I did. But just remember, it's the idea that's gross, not the flavor, because how could garlic and butter drenched anything be gross? Or at least that's what I keep telling myself!

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