Friday, May 2, 2014

Cargols in Spain

Looking for snails with my grandma and grandfather was a fun activity that I did sometimes when I was little, I remember in the yard of my house, outside of the city of Madrid, collecting snails during rainy days. I remember that we used to keep them in the basement. We used to collect them through fall and spring, the rainy months, until we had enough snails to make a meal for the whole family.

The tradition of eating snails in Spain comes from Catalonia, a region in the northeast of Spain where they have a proper language: Catalan. Cargols, is the word that people in Catalonia use to refer to snails. As my Grandparents are from Catalonia, eating snails during Fall and Spring was a tradition for my family. There are many different ways to cook Cargols, and a lot of different sauces which you can mix with the Cargols. Of course, there are different types of snails. For example in France they usually eat the ‘Escargots’,a snail with a much bigger shell than the ones that we usually eat in Spain, which usually have a small and brown shell.

When cooking Cargols, my grandma usually makes the “Cargols a a la Cassola”; snails boiled in a ceramic pot and mixed with a spicy tomato sauce and beef. In general we used to eat these snails on Sunday when all my family is around. My Brother, my uncle and me, sometimes we used to make competition of who was able to eat the biggest amount of Snails, of course my little brother always won. To take out the snails of the shell in order to eat them we usually use a toothpick, but there are people that directly suck the snails out of the shell whit their mouth. I prefer to use the toothpick; my brother for example prefers to suck them out with his mouth.

As I said there are many different ways to cook snails. My grandma usually makes the “Cargols a la Cassola”, although they are delicious, they are not my favorite ones. My favorite ones are “Cargols a la Brassa”, cook on fire and mixed with a little bit of olive oil, parsley, garlic and salt. 

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