©escargot-pauline|Flore Deronzier
BURGUNDY SNAILSA history of Helix pomatia
Burgundy's speciality

Burgundy snails – Helix Pomatia

Burgundy snail: history, recipe and tasting in Beaune.

Everything you need to know about the Burgundy snail: a little animal as delicious as it is fascinating!”

The snail

millennia of consumption

In practice, we enjoy a dozen Burgundy snails and a glass of chardonnay… but what do we really know about its history… since when has it been eaten?

Snail consumption dates back to the origins of mankind, as evidenced by the presence of shells in prehistoric caves. Snails were a popular dish among the Romans, who ate them fried. Considered “impure” by the Church in the Middle Ages, its consumption tended to disappear. It became a food reserved for times of famine. In the Charente region of France in the 16th century, sailors would take barrels of snails aboard their ships to ensure a fresh supply of food for the crossing.

Burgundy snails: Helix Pomatia

The scientific name for the Burgundy snail, also known as the “Gros Blanc” or “Escargot des Vignes”, is Helix Pomatia. Intensive collecting during the first half of the 20th century, combined with agricultural practices and the management of public spaces, led to the rarefaction of the species. As a result, they have been under special protection since 1979. Collecting them is prohibited in France during the breeding season, from April 1 to June 30.


Traditional Burgundy snail recipe

Escargot de Bourgogne is an emblematic dish of Burgundian and French gastronomy. Mainly eaten at Christmas parties and family dinners, it is generally prepared according to the traditional recipe. Cooked in court bouillon, the snail is then returned to its shell, which is filled with a mixture of finely chopped butter, parsley and garlic and baked in the oven.