On the edge of Dijon, in the heart of Burgundy, you’ll find a team of around 35 people working hard to produce one of France’s most iconic products: snails
Bourgogne Escargots, in Chevigny-Saint-Sauveur, has been in the escargot business for more than 40 years, and has earnt a reputation for the highest quality, supplying customers large and small with everything from conserves, stuffed snails in their shells and even frozen snails.
Among them is its fabulous Paris shop, La Maison de l’Escargot, in the 15th arrondissement. We caught up with president France Aubriet to find out more…
How did La Maison start?
It was founded in 1894, so is more than a century old and should not be missed! La Maison de l’Escargot is the temple of the Parisian, French and international delicacies, devoted to the famous escargot that all French people love. Originally, it was a single boutique and the snails were prepared in front of customers. Since 2000, in order to meet regulatory requirements, the manufacturing has been outsourced to our parent company in Dijon.
How far afield do you ship?
We only ship to places in France – most of our customers are Parisian restaurants.
Tell us about your conserves…
The flesh of the snails is cooked in a court-bouillon with pepper and spices. It’s a perfect product to allow you to cook snails in the way you want − put them on pizza, in a pie, in a cassolette with cream and herbs … the possibilities are endless.
Tell us about your crispy escargots – most people will not have heard of these!
It’s a crispy shell stuffed with a snail and a mix of butter, garlic, parsley, shallot, salt and pepper – and you eat the whole thing! It’s very good product as an aperitif or as a starter with salt.
Do you farm the snails yourselves?
No we don’t. We use two species. Helix Aspersa or “Petit Gris” are collected wild in south of France, in Roussillon. This other species, which is the most commonly eaten in France is Helix Pomatia or “escargot de Bourgogne”. This snail is only found in the wild.
What makes a good snail?
For prepared stuffed snails, the right proportion between the flesh and the stuffing is paramount. The flesh has to be firm and not broken up, and the shell has to be undamaged. Then for the canned snails, the important thing is the way you cook it – your favourite recipe is the best way to appreciate the snails!
Why are Burgundy snails particularly good?
Their texture and unique taste makes them stand out from other species.
What’s your personal favourite way to serve your snails?
I love the Burgundy recipe. Cook the snails in their shells with a mix of butter, garlic, parsley, shallot, salt and pepper. Put them in the oven until the butter simmers. Serve hot (with a glass of Burgundy white wine of course!). But my own absolute favourite recipe is snails stuffed with butter mixed with truffle.
How/where can people buy snails from you?
For restaurants, call Fabian Alix 06.72.29.98.92. For the rest please call the shop 01.45.75.31.09. You can also eat our fabulous snails in most restaurants of Paris, for example Closerie des Lilas, Chez André, Café de la Paix … or pop into La Maison de l’Escargot for an experience to remember!
Bourgogne Escargots: 1 rue Jean Monnet, 21800 Chevigny-Saint-Sauveur, Dijon
La Maison de l’Escargot: 79 rue Fondary, 75015 Paris