Bulgarian Sunday Lunch In The Slow Lane

Bulgarian Sunday Lunch In The Slow LaneSnails are free food, but the appeal certainly isn't a favourite with most people and that’s not just vegetarians either. The thought of the slow, slimy, slippery creatures as a meal just puts many if not most people off. Snails are land lubbers where whelks are seafaring with a more popular following as a snack, but essentially they are the same in both physical looks, texture although having a more distinctive taste. So why the big ‘Yuk!’ to garden snails on the dinner plate?

It was snails on the menu this weekend for Galia and I as we stopped just outside Yambol after a night of rain together snails that large and abundant. Free food, but not restricted to Bulgaria, in the UK garden snails are edible albeit more polluted. We knew the snails we were picking up were healthy and succulent on the fresh green spring growth that had dinner written all over it for these lucky snails and the snails in turn had dinner written all over them for us. Oh the food chain is wonderful thing isn't it?

We must have picked about 30 to 40 snails and took them the farmhouse where we put them in a bucket with an iron grill off the barbecue system and weighted it down with a Skalitsa healing stone we had picked up last year whilst being healed, so any ill snails would be cured, but they couldn't escape. They could poke their heads though the grate but their shell houses couldn't be dragged through with them. To eat snails you need their digestive system to be clear and that means starving them for two days. It was Friday so they would be ready to cook on Sunday; this was our plan for Sunday lunch.

Each morning and evening I washed them out with water and put them back in the bucket. Sunday morning after their last wash they were put into some boiling water then winkled out with a skewer. Then the snail meat was fried in butter and home grown green garlic with a little rakia and turned out in a couple of ramekin bowls. Each bowl of snails was covered with breadcrumbs and grilled until brown.

Bulgarian Sunday Lunch In The Slow LaneOutside, Galia had set the table outside in the sunshine that had come out after the rain we had had for two days. This had some cold Sofia beer called ‘Ariana,’ waiting on the table to greet us along with the snail dishes that were ready to serve. We spend the next 20 minutes enjoying out free feed in beautiful surroundings being washed down with cold beer. Yambol snails and Sofia beer - A great combination!

I recommend snails for Sunday lunch to anyone, it is a superb no cost chemical-free food with little if no fat and no animal rights campaigners in sight! Notice I haven't mentioned the French - Oops I just did!

My own step-by-step snail recipe is being prepared in next post.
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