In France snails are quiet common staple and dish served in restaurants. They're not as bad as it sounds, provided they are Fresh and not the canned version (but isn't that the same rule for every thing?). When you're new to snails or want to make sure you get the real thing go to L'Escargot 38 rue Montorgueil Paris 1e. Metro Sentier.
Eating the eggs of snails could be the next culinary frontier for some. In the 1980ties they started to produce the caviar from the snails' eggs. Just preserved in brine they were pretty tasteless and uninteresting. Now the pearly white and rather big eggs from the Helix Aspersa Maxima get a more delicate treatment with fleur de sel de Guérande, rosemary oil and citric acid. They come out tasting like a walk in the forest after the rain with a hint of mushroom and oak leaves and a pleasant crush (is that the shell?)
A real delicacy with a price to match: around 1500€ per kilo.
1 snail produces about 100 eggs that's 4g per year. And they are not killed to get the eggs unlike the real caviar.
For recipes and buying online in English: www.bienmanger.com
pour des recettes de caviar d'escargot: (aussi commender en ligne) www.bienmanger.com
sources: de Jeager and Reuter