Eating The Tour De France Stage 11: Vatan – Saint Fargeau. Escargots Bourguignons
Stage 11 of the 2009 Tour takes the riders into Northern Burgundy. A wine lovers paradise rich in history, farming, food and vineyards.
The abundance of wine in the area ensures that some of the regions classic dishes such as coq e vin and beef Bourguignon, all benefit from plenty of good red wine. But although these ‘boozey’ dishes are delicious, after the rapid pace of Stage 11 I have opted for some slow food.
The French have been eating snails for hundreds of years. Necessity is the father of invention and in the middle ages French peasants were forced to eat what they could find and today many of the dishes found in the smartest restaurant of France, such as frogs legs and terrine, take their inspiration from the ‘Savoir Fare’ and peasant kitchens of France.
For the lover of snails there is only one true snail to eat and that is the Helix Burgundy snail from France. Like so many other things we consume today, many snails now come from China, but the Escargots Bourguignons are the real thing. You can buy these beauties in tins in most French supermarkets and you can also get ready cleaned snail shells for that perfect presentation. however if you are feeling very resourcful you can use your own snails from the garden. Here is a link on how to prepare garden snails for eating.
But before we race to Stage 12 why not enjoy some garlic infused meaty snails and toast the Tour de Franc with a nice glass of Burgundy.
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1 7-ounce can snails, rinsed
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Purée butter, garlic, parsley, and shallot in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Divide half the garlic butter among the snail shells. Stuff each shell with one snail and add the remaining garlic butter.
Bake 10 minutes in the hot oven.
4. Serve with crusty bread to mop up all that wonderful garlic sauce.