If your Greek dining tastes run to the less traditional, you will one day find yourself facing a plate of cooked Cretan snails, a famous specialty on the island of Crete. Here’s what to do.
Time Required: 2 minutes
- Stare at the plate of snails and wonder what to do.
- Observe your companions, now on their fifth or sixth snail.
- Select a likely-looking snail. Big ones are easier to grip. Clutch it firmly.
- With your fork, drive a tine into the apex of the shell’s spiral, creating a small hole.
- Place the larger opening of the snail shell against your mouth.
- Using your forefinger, cover and uncover the hole you made in the shell while sucking at the larger opening.
- Continue until the snail suddenly pops into your mouth. Congratulations! You’ve eaten your snail.
- If this dramatic method doesn’t work, try working the tine of the fork into the snail in a spiral motion until it pops out the other side. Then eat it.
- Repeat until full. Alternate with sips of raki. You may find a more generous raki-to-snail ratio helps.
- Larger snails are a little easier to work with.
- Let the snail drain of cooking water before you bring it toward you.
- This is a traditional dish often served with raki, and the raki really helps move this process along.
What You Need
- Cooked Cretan snails
- A traditional rakadiko, or raki house, is helpful but not required.