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The secret has slipped out: French snails come from… Greece, Indonesia, Poland, Russia and Turkey, in fact from almost anywhere but France. Less than 2% of les escargots are actually French, even if the name on the box says, for example, “Escargots de Bourgogne”, which invariably describes only where they were wrapped.
The French eat about 40,000 tons of snails annually but legislation to protect French snails, and the much lower prices for snails from eastern Europe, has killed off what used to be a thriving domestic farming industry.
From our December 2006 newsletter