Some time ago, on a Saturday, I was wandering through the centre of Beaune with friends from Lyon who had come to spend the weekend in the region.
After a short tour of the town by the ramparts and a cellar visit, one of my friends suddenly became a little peckish. But not for just anything ... She wanted to eat some snails.
As it was 4.00 pm, I suggested a pastry instead. To tell the truth, I'm not too fond of snails, but in the middle of the afternoon, I was more inclined to choose a nice raspberry donut.
She insisted, and finally we gave in. I remembered then that I’d heard of a shop specialising in snails that also arranges tastings on the go. And it wasn’t far from the town centre, either. Just what we needed.
So we set off, heading for Hélice, known as "Beaune’s snail shop" (l’Escargotier Beaunois).
That sounds promising
Arriving at the shop, a notice set the tone: tasting of snails, accompanied by a glass of white wine, at an affordable price. I began to think that it wasn’t such a bad idea after all.
Karine, the queen of the snails, welcomed us with a big smile.
Sitting around a beautiful wooden table, after a few minutes’ wait, there we were faced with a dozen shells, all nice and warm. It smelt of butter, parsley and garlic.And inevitably, it reminded me a little of the Christmas holidays.
The Rolls-Royce of snails
Karine explained that this is the Rolls-Royce of snails. I didn’t know there were different "brands" of snails. But since it's the Rolls-Royce, let's give it a go.
And indeed, I’m sure I’d never tasted snails as good as these. In addition, with some crusty bread and a glass of chilled white, it’s all you need.
In the end, we had a great time together, my friend was delighted, and I enjoyed the snails (even in the afternoon).
We even left with a dozen for the road. There are plenty of nice snail-based products on offer, from traditional recipes to the most unexpected, and even cosmetics. So don’t forget to call in if you have a sudden urge or if you’re looking for a good place to stock up.
Burgundy Snails: traditional recipe
Burgundy snails are an iconic dish of Burgundy and French gastronomy. Mainly consumed at Christmas celebrations and family meals, they are generally prepared according to the traditional recipe. Cooked in court bouillon, the snail is then presented in its shell, which is filled with a mixture of butter, parsley and finely chopped garlic and placed in the oven.