El Puerto de Santa Maria: The snail seller
Anyone for snails or should I say escargot? A man selling snails wasn’t doing much business when we walked by in El Puerto de Santa Maria in Spain last March. I wasn’t going to sample any of his produce, have you tried snails? What do they taste of?
There’s a really interesting page on escargot on Wikipedia. Still won’t get me to eat them..
Snail shells have been found in archaeological excavations, indicating snails have been eaten since prehistoric times. A number of archaeological sites around the Mediterranean have been excavated yielding physical evidence of culinary use of several species of snails used as escargot. The Romans, in particular, are known to have considered escargot an elite food, as noted in the writings of Pliny. The edible species Otala lactea has been recovered from Volubilis in present-day Morocco. This archaeological recovery is from an era of Roman Empire occupation of this provincial capital, which site was known to embody a very highly developed ancient civilization since its days as a Phoenician and Carthaginian colony.
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