Did you know that when snails mate, it can take hours to complete the act? Once everything is done and dusted, the snails lay only about 100 eggs in the soil.
Snail eggs or snail caviar is usually served as an earthy, woodsy garnish for blinis, salads, or soups. It looks like little white pearls.
Many people say that snail caviar tastes like the forest floor. The flavours are aroma-like, very earthy and nutty. Others say they bring out hints of mushroom, rosemary and pine. Again someone else would say that they taste like grape leaves. They are definitely of mild flavour, hence why they go well with many different dishes.
Snail caviar is a rare product in Europe and even more so in the United States. This is perhaps because for years people thought of snail eggs as bland and tasteless. However nowadays we have an up and coming snail caviar niche industry and a growing demand for this delicacy.
Dominique Pierru was the one who removed the pasteurization process, which diminishes the snail eggs’ earthy flavours. He implemented a process of quickly blanching the eggs in a hot bouillon and then curing them in sea salt, starch, citric acid, and rosemary. And the end result was a more unique and original flavour, which many liked.
If you are wondering how to store snails, you can store sealed tins of caviar in the refrigerator, for a few months. It’s not recommended to freeze the caviar, but if you this then keep it at -10°C. To defrost, you need to gradually bring the caviar up to 10°C over five days. And make sure they are kept at that temperature, because snail eggs can go bad within hours. Caviar should be white or light pink. If the eggs have turned purple this means they have gone bad.
Since there is a lot of labour involved, each snail lays only 100 eggs a year, snail caviar is one of the most expensive food items. This means that a 30g tin of snail eggs is valued at $100, which places the product among the luxury niche products.
If you would like to learn more about how to grow your own snails, either in your garden or on a farm, you can read more about it here.