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Snails for St Mark's day

Look at that S car go!


Everybody in the world probably knows that it's St Mark's day tomorrow, 25th April, don't they? In Venice, which has a square and basilica named after him, where his body or bits of it possibly reside , everybody gets a day off!

We're not so lucky here in Mallorca as we all have to work, but less lucky are about 4,000 kilos of snails which will end up as delicious portions of snails and all i oli (garlic mayo) in one of Mallorca's most typical restaurants for local food, Es Cruce in Vilafranca.

St Mark, for some reason is the patron saint of notaries, secretaries and snails, and as the first two are inedible for legal reasons, it's the poor old snails who go to the pot! At Es Cruce, they reckon that on the day itself, they'll serve around 2000 portions of snails to customers in the restaurant and pack another 10,000 portions into containers for take away customers!

In total throughout the whole week of St Marks' days they'll get through 6000 kilos of snails and 800 kilos of all i oli to satisfy their customers appetite for tasty slow food. The logistics of the operation are quite astounding as to meet the massive demand they have 10 gigantic pots which can hold 70 kilos of snails each which are on the go nearly all day!

In fact so many snails are used that there aren't enough in all Mallorca, and they have to be imported from Andalucia and Morocco, unlike the ones in my photo, which are all native to my garden! If you fancy trying some and can't make it on the big day, Es Cruce regularly serves up around a ton of molluscs each week – as well as some really delicious typical Mallorcan food – and is located on the Carretera Palma-Manacor, km 41, at Vilafranca de Bonany.