Snail Tale, Part 2

Spring in Sevilla is like a four-act play: incense and nazarenos followed by sherry and sevillanas. Next comes the heat and absence of people in the streets and, finally, signs proclaiming HAY CARACOLES. Snails here.

While the squishy little animal is enough to make any American squirm, caracoles are anticipated the same way that we wait for sweetcorn on the 4th. As soon as the temperature cools off about 8 p.m., people flock to the streets to slurp up caracoles.

And when I say slurp, I mean slurp. The snails are cooked in a spicy brown sauce and served in either a tapa or a plate. Though toothpicks are given, most people prefer to just suck out the little brown thing and the juice. If they don´t come out, well, you make a little hole with your tooth in the shell and he slides right out!
Below are my favorite places for snails, taking into account price, ambience and slurpiness.
CASA DIEGO
This tiny little locale on C/Esperanza de Triana is only open during snail season. The critters are cooked in a huge vat while the proprietor pours beer and throws montaditos on the grill. Diego is legendary, from the piping hot, spicy sauce the snails are cooked in to the plates balancing on the empty kegs of Cruzcampo outside. Calle Esperanza de Triana (Triana)
LA TIZA
La Tiza is typical cevercería: old men in pressed white shirts serving you your cervecita, tabbing it up on the wall or on the bar in front of you with chalk. Pictures of Toro Lidia adorn the walls and kids run around your feet. La Tiza has more elbow room for those pesky ones that won´t slide out, and they´re cheap, too – 2,50€ for a tapa is all you need to say for me to be there! Paseo de Europa, (Los Bermejales)
EL CANO
Named for the first sailor to complete a round-the.world trip by boat, El Cano is an old locale located in the old fisherman´s barrio between Heliópolis and Los Bermejales. The tile-lined bar is surrounded by a tall brick wall, perfect for resting your plate on during a warm night. These buggers are a bit more expensive, but slide right out and come extra spicy. This neighborhood has a lot of ambience, too – the fisherman’s chapel is right next door, and if you don’t like snails, the bar has everything from coagulated blood with onions to tripe. (Barriada El Cano)

LOS PAJARITOS / CASA RUPERTO

While this bar’s claim to fame is the roast and peppered birds (hence the name), the Novio swears that the creepies are exquisitos at Casa Ruperto. The bar is nestled into a small, dusty patio between two residential buildings, so it feels like a small block party of friends.  Calle Santa Cecelia (Triana)

EL KIKI

My old student Julián and I used to roam Sevilla while having conversation class, alternating neighborhoods by the month and stopping for beers often. As the caracol season snuck up on us, between the azahar and volantes, he touted Seville’s king of snails at Bar El Kiki. Tall wooden tables crowded the sidewalk under a wide awning, and the snails from Morocco are rumored to be the best in the city. I, sadly, have yet to try. off of José Laguillo (Santa Justa)

As I’m slurping up snails and celebrating Luna’s second birthday (for real! Where does the time go!?), head over to Interway, where I’ve been featured, along with Sarah of Love and Paella and fellow Seville blogger Fiona of Scribbler in Seville, for great expat blogs in Spain!

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About Cat Gaa

As a beef-loving Chicago girl living among pigs, bullfighters, and a whole lotta canis, Cat Gaa writes about expat life in Seville, Spain. When not cavorting with adorable Spanish grandpas or struggling with Spanish prepositions, she wrangles babies at an English Language Academy and freelances with other publications, like Rough Guides and The Spain Scoop.

Comments

  1. Ashlee D. says:

    ñam ñam ñam! my dad’s french and we had lots of snails growing up, but it’s been forever! i’ve never had them in spain though, i want to try!

  2. andiperullo says:

    I’ve never had the opportunity to taste them before, but now I’m SO intrigued.

  3. Michi says:

    I first had snails in Cordoba, and I’ll admit I’m still not a huge fan. I like the broth, but I just can’t handle the texture! My dad, on the other hand, was crazy about them when he came to visit.

  4. roamingtheworld says:

    I reluctantly tried snails in marrakesh, Morocco. I’m not a fan. I tried them and I can check it off my list.

  5. @Andi – they are so, so good! Considering you’ve been everywhere, I’m surprised you haven’t tried them!
    @Lauren – I had those snails at the stalls, too. They’re not as tasty as the ones in Seville and Córdoba!

  6. Jessica Alcorn says:

    I also had snails in Morocco (Casablanca) and I thought I would be disgusted but I loved them! I bet I would like the ones in Sevilla even more, yuuuuuuum!

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