Fans of escargot may be readier than others to try caviar made from snail eggs. Zimmern’s own Instagram fans demonstrated the love/hate divide. “That’s gonna be a no for me big dawg,” commented @_bc24, while @dandolfdadeadly both expressed a rave review and described its flavor: “It’s a wonderful product. Deep earthy notes like a forest floor on an early autumn morning.”
Snail caviar is great news in one respect. The most coveted kind of caviar comes from the Beluga sturgeon, which has been so over-fished as a result that it became critically endangered. The United States actually banned the importation of Beluga caviar in 2005 (via YouTube). Snail caviar is an exciting new way to enjoy a fancy dish, ethically.
Snail farming is booming in Italy, according to the New York Post, caviar being one of the drivers. Farmers place sterilized glasses into the soil to catch the eggs snails lay, writes Modern Farmer. They have to carefully sort through the eggs with tweezers to discard any slight imperfections. This is why snail caviar has the advantage over Beluga caviar, in that the snails don’t have to be killed, but such a process means you can’t expect this version to be a cheap option. A kilo can run $3,000.
If you do get your hands on some snail caviar, which can taste in the vein of mushrooms, follow Andrew Zimmern’s lead and enjoy them at their best and simplest, with just a squeeze of lemon.