Turkish snails do not attract people’s attention in the country in spite of all their cuteness. Most people even can’t stand seeing these little lovely animals, they find them disgusting especially because of the bright trail they leave behind. Snails are not worth a bean in Turkey and people just ignore them when they see any in their yards.
So it is absolutely weird to eat snails for Turks. However, I find them pretty adorable, they are like creatures from fairy tales. I’ve never tried cooking or eating snails as it is not a part of our cuisine. I am curious about its dishes, though. Maybe I can try one day.
Turkish people will most probably change their attitude in the future. It is reported that Sasu Water and Agricultural Prodcuts Incorporation, working in Adana (a big city on the south of Turkey) has been picking snails when they increase in big amounts in nature just after rain and they export them all to Europe after processing. The chairman of this company, Alican Yamanyilmaz says that there is no role of snail in Turkish cuisine, but their company contributes to country economy by exporting Turkish snails to Europe.
Yamanyilmaz states that due to their high cost, Turkish snails are served in luxurious restaurants and they export more than half of their products every year before Christmas. He expressed that they started to export snails with the high demand especially from France and some other Europe countries especially before Christmas. He says that besides Adana, they process snails at their association in Yalova and Bandirma and they have had a demand of 1 million snails until now. He claims that the average number of snails they export is about 1,5 million. He also adds that Turkey is the biggest snail exporter in Europe with an exportation of about 200 million snails.
How Are Turkish Snails Processed?
The chairman Yamanyilmaz says that they first remove the animals from their shells, boil them in wine and spices for 3 hours, put them back into their shells, coat them with a sauce of butter, black pepper, parsley and garlic, and then package them. There are 12 stuffed snails weighing 20 grams in a package.
Do you cook snails? I will be glad to hear the recipe of your favorite snail dish, please feel free to share.