[Sca-cooks] Spanish Snails

David Walddon david at vastrepast.com
Sun Jun 20 23:07:59 PDT 2010

Lots of interesting things in the Florilegium.
This one comes from 1999!
Spanish Sails. 

Thoughts on these recipes? Better than the German?


Source: Diego Granado, _Libro Del Arte De Cozina_, 1599
Translation: Lady Brighid ni Chiarain of Tethba (Robin Carroll-Mann)
DE LOS CARACOLES -- Of the Snails
There are many sorts of snails, and all have four round horns, with a
little head on top: they are lubricous and xxx and without eyes, and
leave a trail where they pass: they have a shell made of stripes, and
there are large ones and small ones, colored ones and white ones: they
are gathered twice in the year, in Autumn and in the Spring: the little
ones are taken in the month of July, and through all the Autumn on the
grape vines and on other herbs: the best ones are those from fennel.
Clean, Purge, and Preserve the Snails
Take the large snails in the month of February through all of May, and
from August until mid-October: in which times the air is temperate:
although to preserve them do not gather them until after the month of
July, and then put them in a spacious and humid habitation, in which
there are bundles or branches of little trees of fennel, broom, and others,
and then let them go where they will, repeatedly cleaning the habitation
of their dung, because bad odors will cause them to die, and when they
have been for all the month of November in this habitation, finding them
closed will be the signal that they have been purged, and then put them
in barrels, or in other vessels: and in this manner in cool places they are
kept all Winter: also, they are found closed, after having been purged
beneath earthen walls, and in other places with holes.
MANERAS -- To Fry Snails, and Cook Them in Diverse Manners
Take the snails in the Spring, and make them boil: remove them from
the shell, and clean them of their filth, and so that they remain larger,
put them in cold water on the fire, having the vessel closed, and giving it
a temperate fire just until it boils, and upon uncovering the vessel the
greater part of the snails will be found out of their shells: those which
are not will be put in hot water.  Then remove them from the shells as
has been said, and put them in a vessel of copper, or of earthenware,
filled with ground salt, and stir them for a quarter of an hour, until the
viscosity comes out: then wash them with many waters: flour them, and
fry them, and serve them with fried parsley, and cloves of cooked
[boiled] garlic, and after frying serve them with green sauce, or other
flavors on top: but if the snails were preserved, boil them: remove them
from the shell, and fry them.
To Make Pottage From Little White Snails
Set the little white snails to soak in tepid water, wash them well of the
dirt or clay, and put them in a vessel with as much tepid water as will
cover two fingers, and make them boil little by little, keeping the vessel
covered: when you see that the snails have come out, add to them oil,
pepper, and salt, cinnamon, saffron, and chopped herbs, and cloves of
garlic, and verjuice, and make it boil for a quarter of an hour, and then
serve them on plates with their broth: and these snails greatly require
CASCARA -- To Make Cakes of Snails Removed from the Shell
Take the snails, well purged, and make them cook in water, in such a
manner that they are well cooked, and remove them from the shell,
taking the best part, and wash them again, and purge them with salt,
and then make them fry with chopped onions, and have ready a tart pan
anointed with cow's butter, with three leaves of very thin pastry, also
anointed with butter between one and another, and the large puff pastry
[tortillon hojaldrado] all around, and upon those is put chopped mint and
marjoram, and raisins, and sprinkle everything with pepper, cloves,
cinnamon, and sugar, and salt, then put in the snails, with an equal
amount of the mixture on top as you put beneath, and sprinkle them
with the same spices.  You can also put a little grated Pinto cheese,
and add a little verjuice, or orange juice, cover it with another two
leaves, and some puff-pastry strips on top.  You can cook it in the oven,
or under an earthern pot, serve it hot with sugar and rose water on top.
In this manner you can make a cake, having chopped the snails before
frying them, and on a fast day in place of butter put oil, and in place of
cheese aged walnuts broken and peeled.
Lady Brighid ni Chiarain
Settmour Swamp, East (NJ)

More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list