Snail Caviar
Also described as escargot caviar – les oeufs d’escargot – escargot pearls

As snail farmers we first became aware in 2010 that snail eggs were being used in gastronomy, especially at that time in France, however, the consumption of the little white pearls has spread throughout Europe and beyond during the past decade.

At the time, Harrods were selling snail caviar in 50 gram tins and when converted to a kilo price it was equivalent to £2700.00 per kilo. Not surprisingly, this immediately gained our interest in the product particularly as in our indoor farming system we are able to produce snail eggs on a weekly basis throughout the year.

The best snail for caviar is the Helix Aspersa Maxima (gros gris) which fortunately was the specie we bred at the time (now changed to Helix Aspersa Muller for its superior meat quality.

Having the system in place for breeding snails it was a simple enough process to increase our production in order to give an excess of eggs to be sold as caviar.

That was 7 years ago, and the use of snail caviar has increased significantly since then. When snail eggs were first available in the UK the supply was not consistent but mainly they were very expensive.

During the Spring of 2017 we decided to create a special breeding room using Helix Aspersa Maxima solely for the purpose of caviar production.

When our first production became available we sent the caviar to an independent laboratory for a wide range of tests, this included shelf life testing.

We then needed to look at two elements being pricing and pack quantity.

Pricing – There are many quite ridiculous prices quoted for snail caviar which tend to be between £1.00 and £1.50 per gram.

Pack quantity – The reason we chose to sell in jars containing 20 grams is that with any tinned or bottled products once opened there are only a few days in which to use the contents.

The following is an extract from the book

Snail Eggs and Samphire

by Derek Cooper

“The story begins, as many good stories have done, in distant Tibet, an unlikely Shangri-La, you may think, for the discovery of anything more recherché than curdled yak’s milk. But it was here five years ago in a remote lamasery that M. Chatillon, with a mind tuned to the perception of the previously unperceived, watched as villagers deposited their offerings in the lap of a gilded Buddha. Among the oblations was a bowl of what looked like pinky-beige opalescent pearls. When no one was looking, M. Chatillon put a finger in the bowl and conveyed two of the small globules to his mouth.

I ate them, Alain told us, and I think immediately zees is fantastique. It is a revelation. And thus was the secret of snail eggs brought back from the land of eternal snows. Or something like that. Back in Rennes, Alain spent five years experimenting until he found the perfect gastropod, the indigenous petit gris. Now he has over 300,000 worker snails in twelve farms in different parts of France. The annual production of one snail, he claims, is only a hundred eggs, which makes them as expensive as the finest Beluga caviar”.

Caviar for chefs

Snail Caviar

20 grams per jar

Once the eggs are harvested and cleaned, we then pack them into 20 gram jars. These must be eaten within a couple of days after opening.

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