National Escargot Day: everything you need to know about the French delicacy  

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Today, 24 May, is National Escargot Day! To celebrate the day, we take a look at the history of this French dish and share where you can dine on escargots around Australia.

National Escargot Day

Escargots have been eaten since prehistoric times but not in the way they are prepared today. Then they were eaten by those who couldn’t afford to eat anything else. Quite far from the delicacy they have become today.

 

The origin of the dish is in Burgundy where snails are cooked with garlic, parsley and butter. This preparation is known as the escargot à la bourguignonne.

 

The popularity of escargots is attributed to the then French Minister for Foreign Affairs, Talleyrand, who, in 1814, was organising a reception for the Russian Tsar who was in Paris. He wanted to impress him and serve him something he’d never eaten before. His chef was Antonin Carême , a Burgundian, and escargots was in its beginnings a Burgundian dish.

 

The snails you eat in France aren’t likely to be French anymore. The Burgundian variety of snail, Helix pomatia, is no longer seen in France having suffered from its popularity and also the use of pesticides. Now, the snails you eat in France are actually from Eastern Europe unless they are from specific snail farms.

 

Helix pomatia is a protected species in France so you’re not allowed to be collected during their reproductive period from 1 April to 30 June. Outside of that time, you’re not allowed to collect or sell them if their shell is less than 3cm in diameter.

 

There are also other regional takes on the dish:

  • Escargots à l’alsacienne – cooked with dry white Alsatian wine, stock, lard, onion, parsley, 1 bouquet garni, 4 spices, aniseed, salt and pepper
  • Escargots à la bordelaise – cooked in a tomato base with Armagnac, Espelette chilli, ham and duck
  • Escargots à la provençale – cooked with chopped tomatoes, rosé wine, speck, prosciutto, chilli, dill, parsley

 

Escargots à la provençale

WHERE YOU CAN GET ESCARGOTS FOR NATIONAL ESCARGOT DAY

 

BRISBANE

Boucher always has its roast snails in the shell with garlic & parsley butter on the menu.

 

PERTH

Bistro Guillaume‘s Escargot En Persillade with a Brioche Crumb is one of its menu staples across its Perth and all of the Bistro Guillaume restaurants. Available on the menu all year round, the perfectly prepared dish is a delicious treat that begins by placing the snails into specialised dishes and topped with a classic French sauce known as ‘Persillade’ that consists of parsley, butter and a delicate brioche crumb. The dish is perfectly paired with grilled sourdough.

 

SYDNEY, NSW

L’Heritage serves its escargots all year round so you can enjoy them on National Escargot Day and every day. Their snails are poached in court bouillon, roasted w/ confit garlic and persillade butter, sliced baguette. 

 

Happy National Escargot Day! Have you ever tried escargots? Where do you go for them?

 

If you appreciate French food, you may also like these articles:

It’s Cheese Soufflé Day!

Happy World Chocolate Day 2021!

International Croissant Day 2022: Warning don’t read this while you’re hungry!

La Chandeleur 2020: where to get your crêpes

What is the Galette des Rois and why do the French celebrate it?

 

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It’s Cheese Soufflé Day!

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Happy Cheese Soufflé Day! Just as there are days celebrating different wine varietals, there are also days celebrating certain foods. 18 May celebrates the cheese soufflé. To celebrate the day, we’re going to share some fun facts about the soufflé as well as let you know where you can enjoy one in Australia.

Cheese Soufflé Day

What is soufflé?

Soufflé is an egg-based dish which is baked in the oven. It can be savoury or sweet depending on the other ingredients put into it.

 

What does the word soufflé mean?

The word soufflé is a French word forming the past tense of the verb souffler meaning to blow, to breathe, to inflate or to puff. It’s use makes sense given the way in which a soufflé will puff up or inflate as it cooks. Initially, the term soufflé was used to define the preparation which was softened by the presence of beaten egg whites, such as an “omelette soufflé ” or “crème soufflé “.

 

How do you make a soufflé?

Soufflé is made up of two parts:

  • the base- where the flavour comes from – consisting of flavoured crème pâtissière, cream sauce or béchamel, or a purée which are flavoured with herbs, cheese and vegetables for the savoury variety or fruits, chocolate or lemon for dessert soufflés
  • the peak – egg whites beaten to a peak

 

Who mentioned it first?

As to who was the first to mention the soufflé in writing, it depends on whether you ask the French or the anglophile world. For the English speakers, it’s in early in 1742 where it is attributed to Vincent La Chapelle, a French master cook of the time. In his book Le Cuisinier Moderne (The Modern Cook) the soufflé is in under the title omelette soufflée. For the French, it’s somewhere between 1722 and 1730 by François Massialot in Le Nouveau cuisinier royal et bourgeois as a “crème soufflée of egg whites, diversified and dotted with lemon peel.”

 

Cheese Soufflé DayThe Grande Taverne de Londres is where souffle was first served in a restaurant. Antoine Beauvilliers had several souffles on the menu and is often credited as souffle’s inventor. The Grande Taverne de Londres is seen as the first grand restaurant of Paris.

 

Marie-Antoine Carême is credited with popularising the soufflé. Cooking for the nouveau riche, he created hundreds of variations including the Rothschild with fruit macerated in gold-flecked liqueur.

 

Soufflé Days and their hashtags 

Cheese Soufflé Day is held annually on 18 May. Its chocolate counterpart is celebrated yearly on 28 February.

 

If you’re enjoying a cheese souffle today, use these hashtags #nationalcheesesouffleday #cheesesouffleday #cheesesouffle #souffleaufromage.

 

For chocolate souffle use: #souffleauchocolat #chocolatesouffle #chocolatesouffleday

 

Where to eat cheese soufflé in Australia

 

BRISBANE

Boucher has a Roquefort cheese soufflé on the menu.

 

PERTH

Bistro Guillaume can’t wait to showcase their Twice Baked Cheese Soufflé with you. This soufflé is a staple on the Bistro Guillaume menu, being one of the most popular entrée’s dishes, this cheesy delight is featured on the menu all year round. Loved by all cheese lovers, this dish was created by Guillaume when the chef was an apprentice at Aux Charpentiers.

Cheese Soufflé Day

Being a strong feature, the soufflé is unlike any other regular soufflé, twice baked and served with silky Roquefort cheese and French blue vein cheese made from raw ewe’s milk, this classic French dish is set apart from the rest.

 

The cheese itself has an ‘appellation label’ meaning that the Roquefort can only be made in the Roquefort-sur-soulzon region of France, as Bistro Guillaume continues to strengthen its ties with its French roots the Twice Baked Cheese Soufflé features the country’s stunning produce.

 

SYDNEY

Bistro Rex has a Cantal Cheese Soufflé on the menu.

Cantal is semi-hard cow’s milk cheese aged from 1 to 6 months from Auvergne (in central France), named after the Cantal mountains. The base of the Soufflé is made with a Béchamel sauce and once cooled, egg yolks and Cantal cheese are added. This is then folded through whisked egg whites and cooked in ceramic moulds. We then de-mould the soufflé into the serving dish. Once ordered, the Soufflé is covered with cream, more Cantal cheese and baked for approximately 14 minutes to rise again. Garnished with a mix of parsley, chives, thyme, and tarragon.

 

Bistro St Jacques has a special twice-baked goats cheese soufflé with buttered peas & parsley sauce…

Cheese Soufflé Day -Bistro St Jacques

 

If you enjoy French food, you may also like these articles:

International Chefs Day: Gabriel Gaté the original French TV chef in Australia

Fondue Day is Sunday but what do nuns have to do with fondue?

Chocolate Truffle Day: find out how a Christmas panic led to the chocolate truffle being born!

Happy World Chocolate Day 2021!

 

What’s your favourite soufflé? Happy Cheese Soufflé Day!

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