Here at SAVEUR, we're borderline obsessive about snails. When we go out for old-fashioned French fare, we inevitably split a couple servings of them, drowned in garlic and parsley butter. Back in the test kitchen, we poach them in olive oil and serve them on toast with pesto or a squeeze of lemon as hors d'oeuvres to go with Friday evening cocktails. Snails may seem hard to procure, but there are several producers that ship high-quality ones all over the country, like delicate, basil-fed farmed snails from California, available at Mikuni Wild Harvest. We also favor wild Burgundy snails, like those from Sarl Henri Maire, and the wild-caught snails from La Maison de L'Escargot, both available from the self-described "Snailman," a French producer that sells 7 ⅕-oz. tins as well as prepared herbed butter and snails in their shells.
See the recipe for Spicy Tomato-Braised Snails with Mint »