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Cargol treu Banya – Snail show me your Horns

These are the snails we ate at my moms’ birthday lunch party last January 14th. All our family LOVES Snails cooked any way! This recipe is soo easy that if you like snails, please have no doubt go ahead and cook it!

Snails have a small corner in our family’s memories and this is why I upload Snails, garlic and mint as one of the entries of the FOOD FOR THOUGHT Event that Erin is having at her Skinny Gourmet. Please drop by and take part in the event or see what we all come up with!

When we were small kids, my parents had a small tiny house in the country side for the weekends. It was great to change buildings and noise and cars for woods and butterflies and freesh air! We could play with mud… buagghhhh! Play hide-and-seek in the forest, fish small frogs in a creek and go for snail hunting at night or after it rained! Snail hunting was one of my favourites. My brother and I (2 years and a half younger than I) would dress in our rain coats and plastic boots and would have one flashlight each and a bag and start the search with my parents. It was soooo exciting that when I smell snails cooking or when I go outside during a rainy day and the earth has that wonderful wet smell, memories immediately come back to my head so brightly!

We would pick as many as we saw hidden in the back of the leaves or in the fennel springs or even in the middle of the path, they would try to escape of the bag and we would push their slimy bodies back to the bottom.

Once back home, my mom would put them inside a big holes strainer and add some flour, covered them and leave them in a fresh place for a week or two so that they would clean their guts with the flour. One of the snails though was “pardoned” by my brother whom would sing a song to the snail until it showed its horns. The word Patience was invented being inspired in my brother… he could sing the song for hours, 2 inches away from the snail’s shell. The translation of the kids song would go this way, more or less:

Snail show your horns, climb up the mountain,
Snail show wine, climb up the little hill. Snail show your horns, climb up the mountain, Bubé Snail I’ll come with you!
Special dressing: Me singning the song in catalan (top hit! he, he, he)

Ingredients for 6 servings: 2 Kg. of snails (Bubé kind), 3 fresh mint springs, olive oil, 2 garlic heads, some salt, and a pinch of black pepper.

Have a big saucepan with low heat and some olive oil and 2 mint springs, add the alive snails previously cleaned (inside and outside) when the oil is still cold. The snails will try to escape… I feel sad for them, but this is the way to cook them. Cover the saucepan so that they can not leave it and wait for 1 minute while you stir and cover.

You will see that they throw out a lot of dribble, that’s ok, they must be cooked in their own juices. Keep on stirring and when you get to see the oil back in the bottom of the pan, add the 2 garlic heads (previously peeled and smashed) and stir. Cook it for 45 to 60 minutes at low heat. Add some salt if you wish and black pepper just 2 minutes before the dish is done.

Ready to eat!


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01/16/2008 · 15:41 h by Bellini Valli

Snails are not very common on our menus, but, we do occasionally see them as escargot in garlic butter. Isn’t it funny how smells and tastes conjer up our childhood memories.

01/16/2008 · 15:46 h by Peter M

Nuria, what a fantastic post! I love snails but as I understand, the summer (when I’m in Greece) is not the time to eat snails.

The recipe sound delicioso…all that garlic and mint.

Finally, I loved that you had the courage to sing a song and I can even hear that you almost broke into laughter and regained your composure to finish the song.

Now I want a “Pedro” lullaby!

01/16/2008 · 16:51 h by JennDZ - The Leftover Queen

love love love the song Nuria! Love it!

mmm… the snails look good too :)

Do they have Spanish Idol? I think you should enter for sure! :)

You are too cute!

01/16/2008 · 19:28 h by Núria

Yes it’s funny how smells can transport you in time!!! I have a good “nose” and guide myself a lot for the smell… When I have a cold, it’s amazing… I cannot cook!!! Doesn’t it happen to you Val?

Thanks so much Peter!!!!! So glad you like it. It took me a while.
The best time to eat them is spring time when they have been eating all herbs and they are fatty, but my mother found this in the market and she couldn’t resist to make the dish.
You are so right, it made me laugh…I thought I looked so stupid signing this by myself!!!!

Ok Jenn, I’m cute and you are sweet!!!! Thanks a lot for your words… I had a great time making the post.
You know what? If American Idol (Operación Triunfo) would have been on TV when I was young… I bet you I would have been there! I just loved and love signing!

01/16/2008 · 19:55 h by Emiline

I enjoyed your singing.

I love this post! So good.
I’ve never had a snail. I’m scared. I get freaked out when bugs are around my food, so I’m not sure I could eat a snail.

Where do you find that many snails? Did you hunt those down?

01/17/2008 · 7:30 h by Núria

Thanks Emiline!
I understand that some people cannot think about eating snails… I guess I would have the same feeling about eating ants or any other insect!
These ones are not hunted by us… In the market you can find them either frozen or alive. These were alive…. and tasty!!!!!

01/17/2008 · 14:43 h by Peter M

Nuria, I had to listen to the song again…eating snails will never be the same! lol

01/17/2008 · 16:15 h by Ben

Núria, I love your voice and your accent. I’ve always like the sound of Spanish castellano and catalán.

The dish, however, doesn’t look too appetizing to me. I have never eaten snails before and I am reluctant to try them. That doesn’t mean that I will never try them, I like the idea of trying new food whenever is possible. But everytime I think of snails it reminds me of slick, sticky snails crawling in my parents’ garden in the wet summer days in Mexico City. They then didn’t look very tasty.

But I might try them someday. I have to :p


01/17/2008 · 20:29 h by Núria

I don’t know what to say Peter! You make me smile and laugh! If you ever come over here I will cook snails for you and sing you the song ;-), after some wine glasses!!!
Meanwhile why don’t you upload something with your voice??????? Want to sing this lullaby Pedro, which, by the way, I don’t know what it is?

Hola Ben! Well there’s some side effects when you eat snails… my skin is getting… and in my head I feel these two bulges… and my feet… is not obeying me anymore… and my voice… uhhhggghh ahhhhh

He, he, he, no more snails for me until…………… next week!!!

01/18/2008 · 21:02 h by katiez

When I lived in Andorra my neighbor would always come out to collect the snails after the rain. I like them but have never tried cooking them… I’ll leave that to someone else!
That was a huge kettle of snails for your party!

01/19/2008 · 8:55 h by Núria

Katie, the worst thing about snails is cleaning them up! The rest is great!!!! I have to try your, the french, Scargots though.

01/20/2008 · 12:47 h by Skinny

What a beautiful post. In Ghana they love large forest snails. Each snail is about the size of my fist! They are very tasty (although I now want to try them with garlic) but a total pain to clean and prepare. I particularly love the childhood photo.

01/20/2008 · 15:49 h by Núria

I guess that if in Ghana they are soooo big, each serving will be of 4 or 5?????? Then the cleaning part (awful part) it’s finished quick!!!!
Thanks for visiting Erin!

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