Snail's egg caviar, anyone? It may sound like a challenge to the taste buds, but the salty, pink-white delicacy could be gracing hundreds of French tables this Christmas. Caviar is a byword for the festive season in France, while a dozen escargots - or snails - cooked in garlic and parsley butter are a much-loved staple. A couple of snail farmers from Soissons, in the Picardie region northeast of Paris, have found a way to roll two delicacies into one: their snail caviar, called De Jaeger, hit the shelves in October. Dominique and Sylvie Pierru set up their snail farm in 2004 and started work on a caviar recipe. The next three years were spent perfecting a way to harvest the eggs of their 50,000 gastropods, reared on an open-air diet of herbs and cereals. The result: small, cream-coloured pearls that burst on the palate to reveal what the producers describe as 'subtle autumn flavours with woody notes'. The Pierrus recommend serving the caviar on a sliver of toast, at room temperature, lightly peppered with a touch of sour cream - and naturally a glass of chilled champagne. 'It's completely different from sturgeon caviar, both in terms of appearance and taste,' said Mr Pierru. Joel Schaeffer, a top chef from Luxembourg, describes the taste as woody, salty, with a hint of rosemary, well suited to nutty ingredients such as truffle. 'A lot of diners don't like ordinary caviar, but this they find amazing,' he said. Mr Schaeffer suggests serving the caviar warm in a celeriac soup, or with a thin sliver of truffle, in a cocktail glass layered with creamy celeriac puree and a milk and courgette mousse - garnished with coriander and toasted rosemary brioche. As Christmas draws near, the Pierrus say they have sold 400 jars of the finished product, which retails for 80 euros (HK$900) per 50 grams, roughly the same as farmed sturgeon's egg caviar. They are talking to top chefs and fine-food specialists.