National Escargot Day isn't until May 24, but there's no rule saying we can't get started early and we have a new reason to celebrate this fascinating French food. South Florida has a problem. A giant snail problem, to be exact.
According to the Florida Department of Agriculture, a recent report says that a total of 117,000 of these suckers, which hail from Africa, have been caught. They are deadly to local plant life and can blow out a car tire if you drive over them.
Wee don't suggest attacking the growth of the giant snail population by eating them, though. While other invasive species -- lionfish, for example -- are delicious, these snails are not the edible variety.
In fact, they spread disease. It's a shame -- just think of the escargot burgers! Since we're pretty much always thinking about food around here, it did get us wondering; Where can you get some good escargot in South Florida?
Here, we've found a five places in Broward and Palm Beach County that serve up the buttered slugs in a shell.
Hurricane Alley is Boynton Beach's long-standing dive bar and seafood shack, where you can get everything from raw oysters and steamed clams, to -- yes -- even escargot. Served here for a reasonable price, just $8.95 for a dozen served smothered in a garlic cream sauce alongside toast.
At this Boca Raton bistro, the escargot are served in small pastry domes, drenched in a garlic-shallot parsley butter with pastis and mushrooms. It's a unique take on the authentic recipes, and a good price for $11.
Located off Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, this French cafe, the snails are served as the classic Burgundy recipe, escargots à la Bourguignonne, a simple combination of parsley, shallot, garlic and butter.
In Delray Beach, the Saltimbocca Italian Bistro serves up escargot as an appetizer for just $9. Here, the sauce is given a classic Italian twist -- just a dash of Chardonnay wine -- and a few extra herbs and mushroom for an earthy flavor.
This Boca Raton French cafe and bakery also has the real deal when it comes to snail eating. For $12.95 they're brought fresh from France to your table. Enjoy!
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