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How Much Does Escargot Cost?

Last Updated on December 30, 2023
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Escargot, the garlic-buttery French snail delicacy, carries quite an impressive price tag. These little mollusks are considered a luxury ingredient, so you can expect to pay a premium whether dining out or buying retail.

But how much does escargot cost and just what makes it so expensive? Also, is there any way to enjoy these fancy snails on a budget?

How Much Does Escargot Cost?

The cost of escargot is anywhere between $22 and $50 or more per plate when ordered at a restaurant, and between $1 and $2 per snail when bought frozen or canned online. Its price will depend on how it’s bought (fresh, canned, frozen), where it’s acquired from, the market price range, and location, but more about the influencing factors in the sections below.

The brand Roland Escargot can be bought from most supermarkets and is priced between $1 and $3 per ounce.

Amazon.com also has sellers offering packs of Roland escargot snails for about $70 or $0.81 per ounce.

Some specialty stores sell certain live snail breeds for home farming, but setup costs should also be considered if you want to raise your own escargot.

As you can see, hitting up the grocery store or online retailers cuts the price in half compared to dining out. While not exactly cheap eats, these retail options make enjoying escargot more accessible.

Some people enjoy escargot caviar instead. The price of this tasty ingredient is between $3 and $7 per gram.

You can find escargot caviar at Beverly Hills Caviar, for example, which is an online merchant. This retailer sells this specialty product for around $50 per oz of Snail caviar.

Canned escargot can also be bought from most stores. It usually comes in the dozen pre-cooked and is priced between $4 and $6 per 7.75-ounce can.

Here are other examples of online stores selling escargot:

Brownetrading.com offers cooked, frozen escargot for sale at $36.00 per package, with a minimum order of 12 escargot.

Kolikof.com ready-to-cook sells escargot with garlic butter and parsley, ready to cook, for $35.00 per package.

Peconic Escargot offers in-shell escargot for $36.00 per package and an Essential Escargot Pack (snails, baking dish, picks) for $45.00.

Gourmet Wholesaler provides gourmet varieties of escargot, such as achatina and helix, in different presentations at wholesale prices.

Also read about the cost of a personal chef, a personal nutritionist, and to eat at Hell’s Kitchen.

Fresh snails can cost about $1 to $2 per snail, although they are really hard to find in the US.

If you get them in a restaurant, a lot of appetizer meals will consist of 6 to 12 pieces, and the cost will depend on the restaurant, its fame, and its location. The price range, usually, can be wide, varying from $12 to more than $50 at a higher-end French place.

The Taste and Table Manners

Flavor-wise, the snail meat itself is mild, smooth, and slightly chewy—somewhere between a mussel and a scallop. But escargot is often dripping in so much garlic butter, that’s likely all you’ll taste anyway! Use special escargot forks to pull the meat out of the shell. Trust us, it makes eating snails much easier.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Escargot

When pricing these delicacies keep in mind factors like:

  • Snail type: Some species are smaller or harder to source
  • Foraged vs Farmed: Wild-caught costs more
  • Live Shipping Needs: Climate controls and rapid transit bump prices
  • Seasonality: Out of season means fewer snails available
  • Preparation Labor: By hand processing increases costs
  • Restaurant Markups: Ingredient costs are just one piece of menu prices

As you might expect from a fancy French delicacy, there’s no getting around the fact that escargot will put a dent in your wallet. But understanding why it costs so much helps explain the price.

Additional costs to consider

Escargot as a final dishWhen buying from an online store, remember to budget for shipping fees. These aren’t something you can ignore, as this type of delivery comes with an increased level of sensitivity. Be ready to include another $20 to $30 to your order for overnight shipping.

Like a lot of other dishes, escargot goes great in combination with other ingredients as well, like garlic and butter, for example.

When made into an elegant appetizer, it can also go amazingly well with jello, tuna de tarter, cucumber soap shots, and bitter chocolate toasts.

These additional ingredients will be an additional cost to consider, but they are recommended if you want to create amazing plates at home.

Special cooking tools, while optional, are recommended when cooking at home. A set of specialized tongs, for instance, can hold the snail, while a two-pronged fork is used to remove the meat.

There are also plates with imprints to hold each escargot in place. You can get all of the tools you would need for around $10 to $15 either individually or in a set.

Escargot in a can generally has a life span of 2 to 4 months and should be kept in a refrigerated place. Imper caviar needs to be consumed within a week after the can is opened.

What is Escargot Exactly?

Now for the basics. The word “escargot” is French for snails, specifically land snails. To turn these little crawlers into a dish, the meat is removed from the shells, seasoned and cooked, then placed back into the shells and bathed in a lip-smacking garlic herb butter before serving. They make a tasty appetizer!

The History Behind Escargot’s Upscale Status

Humans have been gobbling down snails for ages – archaeology shows roasted escargot recipes dating back to Stone Age campfires! But today, collecting and preparing edible snails is very time and labor-intensive compared to other ingredients. Most are foraged by hand in terrain like the French Alps. This scarcity and effort contribute to the high prices you see on menus.

Escargot details

In stores, most of the escargot available for sale can be found in packs, with or without the shell, or in a can. They typically differ in size, however, there are packs that contain escargots with similar sizes.

The most common type of escargot is Helix escargot.

Escargot is really high in protein and is around 80 percent water.

How Can I Try These Snails on a Budget?

While far from dirt cheap, you can trim some costs with these tips:

  • Buy canned or frozen instead of fresh
  • Purchase in bulk for lower per-unit pricing
  • Share an appetizer as an inexpensive tasting
  • Place special orders at local suppliers when traveling overseas
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