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Just like watching the Chinese feeding on grasshoppers some may be disgusted by the mere sound of it: snails in their own sauce. However it is among the most popular traditions in Córdoba, believe or not “caracoles en su salsa” is a pure delicacy. An ancient tradition, there is no such thing as an Andalucía without snails. Farmers grew them in the fallow lands, they throw pieces of rubble or big simple tiles on the ground and snails place their home underneath them. There they are left to thrive until Spring comes and the insides of these tiles and rubble are revealed, then snails are harvested. In the southern parts of Spain it is quite normal to find them safely glued to the shade of prickly pears. 

In Córdoba the season starts off in March and ends the 31st of May. During these two months stands are built in squares and gardens where people can gather “al fresco” and enjoy a delicious tapa of caracoles with a cold beer. Spring in Córdoba is lived solely outside in the street and, sooner or later, a good human being falls for a serving of snails. Even though snails stands are open from 12 in the morning it is late in the afternoon when life shines there to its fullest. This year 35 stands opened all over the city.

Three kind of snails are served. The most popular is the “caracol chico” served in a glass with hot broth with an intense hint of fresh mint –drunk till the very last drop. They are to be ordered to the cry of “una de chicos!” (meaning one serving of small snails) and then eaten using your fingers. The medium size snails are called “cabrillas” (little goats), they are also used to prepare the hot and spicy kind: ”picantones” (Be careful they are indeed hot and spicy). However, for those daring and with a more exquisite palate there is the third kind of snails: “gordos” (fat ones). They are also to be ordered to the cry of “una de gordos” (meaning one serving of fat snails). This is the most expensive kind, around 2,5 euros, but try them, you will get more than your money's worth.

 Among those loyal snail-eaters it is customary to argue, just like one argue football, about which snail stand has the best caracoles of the city. It will definitely not be me the one casting the first stone, you will have to find out for yourselves just like we do. However, I cannot deprive you of the caracoles in Magdalena square, the Cross of Juárez or the Agriculture Gardens.

 

You can follow them up here:

https://twitter.com/ cordcaracolea?lang=es

Or download the app on your mobile phone:

https://www.denox.es/casos-de- exito/desarrollo-apps/ desarrollo-app-ruta-caracoles- cordoba/

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