See also: Snails
Escargot - French - An edible snail, especially one prepared as an appetizer or entree.
In France the two most common edible snails are the Burgundy snail (also called vineyard or large white snail) which are about 1 3/4 inches long and the smaller Petite-Gris snail, about 1 inch long.
The French consume 40,000 metric tons of snails each year. (2005)
An escargot plate has indentations (usually 6) to hold the snail shells for baking and for serving.
Special escargot or snail tongs are used to hold the snail shells while using a small two tined escargot fork to extract the snail from the shell.
Heliculture is the science of growing snails for food.
Snails have been eaten as food since at least ancient Roman times. Apicius, the author of the oldest surviving cookbook (1st century B.C - 2 century A.D.) has a recipe for snails in his cookbook.
Restaurants serve about 1 billion snails annually.