Today is day 4 of letting the cargols finish their “snail enema,” as phrased by a very good friend of mine. Now that they have purged their one footed bodies of snail stool, it is time to wash them in water, salt, and vinegar (latter to disinfect) them. This is done about 2 times with salt and vinegar, 3 times with just salt, and then washed about 9 more times with just water. The salt releases snail saliva, a viscous texture you do not want in the tomato sauce.
You must keeping rinsing the snails with water until it runs clear and snail caquetes have drained away. This process takes about a good twenty minutes of filling the sink with water, washing, rinsing, draining, and starting over.
I'm a pollastre, I just couldn't wash these snails. Eusebio kindly offered to wash the cargols for me.
|The water must run clear.|
|Notice the transparent strings of saliva on Eusebio's fingers and the foam the saliva creates?|
|Remove broken shells, you don't want a crunch crunch of broken shell bits in your sauce. These I set back in the grassy lot.|
It’s on to ofegar them, now they must drown in a pot of aigua, filling the pot with a good amount of water to ensure drowning. I didn't even know snails could drown. Yes, it sounds horrible, but Eusebio says it's like eating any other animal product that at some point had to die. He's so matter-of-fact when he answers you, that he leaves you without paraules.
|The cargols are left in the pot with water and salt around the top edges in case they try to make a run for it. The idea is that they drown and slowly die with the rising water temperature from the sun.|
|I had to keep watch and poke the run away snails back into the water.|
Sad news or good news--I guess it depends on who is in the pot. The day was kind of cloudy and prevented the water temperature in the pot from rising, I had to transport the pot to the stove and MAKE the water temperature rise--you know what I'm getting at right?!? I wasn't pleasant turning up the + sign on my ceramic top stove to make the water boil. For Eusebio, letting them die outside in the sun is more considerate then boiling them to death. I guess it's like when you have to boil a lobster live. Once that process was over, I drained the water and put them in a sieve and prepared the rest of the ingredients for the tomato sauce.
|Chopped some onion.|
|Used half of this chorizo and cut it in cubes.|
|Cubed panceta and pernil.|
Panceta, pernil, chorizo, and ceba.
|Add snails and cook for half an hour.|
Nutritional facts: cargols are 15% protien, 2.4% fat, and 80% water. This is an excellent meal for anyone following a high protein low fat diet.