Something in Europe this time. In a small family run restaurant, in the back streets of Portugal’s capital Lisbin, you can order these little suckers. With the mother of the family in the kitchen, and the teenage children taking orders, the restaurant was packed on this week night, with local families and tables of men eating and drinking.
A few friends and I had booked an evening food tour, which consisted of a local guide in his 20’s who drove us down alleys and backstreets in a bright yellow van to restaurants and bars popular with the locals. Once we arrived at the restaurant we were seated in the very modest and simple dining room. Our local guide spoke with the teenage daughter serving us, in a way which showed he, like most of the customers, was a regular and had a familar relationship with the family.
He ordered for us and out first came a jug of vinho verde, which translates to green wine. It is a young wine, which is ment to be drunk within a year of being made. This was followed by a selection of soft cheeses, then the speciality – snails in chilli and lime. We were shown how to eat them (by pulling them out of the shell with a toothpick) and we tucked in. They were de-licious! Once picked out of their shells, the snail it’s self is quite small and it is hard to tell what it even is you’re eating. I had never eaten snails prior to this, nor have I since, so I don’t have anything else to compare them too, but they were full of flavour! The chilli and sourness of the lime was subtle, and the juices which sat on the bottom of the plate ensured that the snails were kept moist and none were spared, as they could easily soak and absorb the flavours while still in the shell. I could easily sit around and eat these little guys all day – and with a glass of green wine of corse!