Eating in Burgundy is a decadent experience. In this capital of fine wine and sumptuous cuisine, meals are meant to be savoured. From classic bœuf bourguignon in a stone-vaulted cellar to French-Japanese fusion in a cutting-edge bistro, prepare for memorable meals accompanied by some of the finest wines on earth. Burgundian specialties worth seeking out include escargots (snails), gougères (fluffy cheese puffs) and oeufs en meurette (eggs poached in red wine).
One of France's trademark culinary habits, the consumption of gastropod molluscs – preferably with butter, garlic, parsley and fresh bread – is inextricably linked in the public mind with Burgundy because Helix pomatia, though endemic in much of Europe, is best known as escargot de Bourgogne (the Burgundy snail). Once a regular, and unwelcome, visitor to the fine-wine vines of Burgundy and a staple on Catholic plates during Lent, the humble hermaphroditic crawler has been decimated by overharvesting and the use of agricultural chemicals, and is now a protected species. As a result, the vast majority of the critters impaled on French snail forks (the ones with two tongs) are now imported from Turkey, Greece and Eastern Europe.