If in other parts of the world the snails enjoy extended life span, secluded and quiet existence than on Crete they are very much in the spotlight, enyoing the centre attention and a prominent place in the Cretan diet. If in other parts of the world the people think of them as disgusting garden pests, here they are seen as a centre piece of the islands menue - delicious, nurturing and very much appreciated on this island which is probably why you will rarely see them in the garden.
I also have difficulty classifying these tardy, little, slow beings and placing them properly in my food chain. Well, clearly it is not a meat, at least by Cretan standards; surely they are not veggies either. I'd like to regard them as sort of 'earth food', just like mussels are considered to be a 'seafood'.
The fame has its price to pay - most of Cretan snails end up all butter-soacked, rosemary-seasoned, wine-drunk. Despite the tradition of snail eating on Crete, I can't help feeling a bit like a cannibal and somewhat supreme every time when devouring snails.
If you don't feel like having a snail-collecting experience during the morning moisty hours, fortunately here on Crete you can get the them also at laiki (the street market), coming right from the snail farm - neatly packed in a bag (so you don't have to pick them live and kill actually). Thats, if you opt for home-cooking or - nicely served on the dish in a tavern.
Well, either way the Cretan snails is a must food experience on Crete that you don't want to miss.
What do you need? 'Simplicity is the root of all genius'! The same applies for cooking the snails. What you need is literary few basic ingredients but most importantly - the snails. The list ingredients is following:
How to do it? The more the merrier, so invite friends over for a snail feast. You have to start with removing the membrane covering the opening of the shell and wash the snails properly. Than drown them in bowl filled with water and leave them there until their heads come out (30 to 45 minutes). Throw away all the snails whose heads have not come out. Put the snails in a pot of olive oil - well heated and boil for 10 - 15 minutes. Add the rosemary, salt and pepper, stir them for another 3 minutes later add the sip of vinegar and some wine. Let them come to the boil and they are ready to serve.
Snails go beautifully with the Cretan wine variety and some Cretan jazz! :) Enjoy!
Did I mention there is the whole festival devoted to snails on Crete? Read about the Cretan snail feast here
Having traveled for over 30 years, since 6 years now, I have found the whole world in one of the most fascinating and unique places on earth – Crete. It is a diverse, rich and inspiring island which even after so many years does not stop surprising me - its rich history and unique traditions, its people, the delicacies of Cretan cuisine, its landspace and its stunning nature. Here I reveal some of its secrets.
I see Crete through turquoise - pink glasses.
Skip the group tours, leave your rental car at your hotel and ask Joseph to accompany you on a private tour to these great spots on Crete. We did "Mystic & Rustic Crete" and "Birth of Europe". If you are a first-time visitor he will suggest an itinerary and if you have special requests he will include those. Without Joseph we would not have known about the local culture or the history of the area nor would we have met and chatted with the local people... Read more
"A great tour and experience"We spent a full day with Joseph visiting Chania, Rethymnon and an olive oil farm and we had a great time. Crete is huge so you have to make choices unless you spend a week there. We arranged this tour with Joseph discussing our options and time. Joseph was very flexible with the itinerary allowing us to customize our tour and experience the highlights of some very nice towns. Joseph was very knowledgeable and answered every question. We would definitely use Joseph again to visit the other parts of Crete that we could not get to in this visit.
"Crete showed by Joseph is unique"The experience with Joseph showing us around Crete was absolutely unique. He is Greek and speak very good Hebrew. I don't think we would had seen and experienced half of what we did with him if we'd be on our own. He told us a lot of interesting stories about the Lassithi plateau and the area. His effortless ability to chat up with locals and involve us into conversation (with some translation, of course) was amazing. Funny enough these encounters led to further invitations (for a coffee and local drink - raki). Later on, he took us to an absolutely authentic tavern in a mountain village...
"The secrets never die" Das erste Mal haben wir Joseph Batis mit einer kleinen Gruppe in Chania in einer Fischtaverne kennengelernt. Er sprach Deutsch, Hebräisch, Englisch, Griechisch und soweit ich es richtig vernommen habe auch Spanisch. Ich habe die Gelegenheit genutzt ihn über unsere Ausflugsziele zu befragen. Seine Hinweise und seine Kenntnis haben uns in die Welt von Kreta innerhalb kurzer Zeit eingewiesen. Wir haben Joseph für einen Tag engagieren können um uns zu begleiten. Joseph hat über 30 Jahre in Deutschland gelebt. Seit Jahren führt er private Reisetouren auf Kreta...
יוסי מסיורים בכרתים ויוון, הוא מדריך.... מקצוען, בעל יידע נרחב איש לבבי וסימפטי, טיילנו בשנה שעברה... היה פשוט מדהים כיף... כיף... כיף... ממליץ בחום למי שמגיע לכרתים ויוון להשתמש בשרותיו המעולים. תודה יוסי על הסיורים ,האוכל, הטברנות, היה תענוג גדול ! ! ! מאתנו: אורי אילש, אלי גנט, יגאל גרינשטיין, נטלי גרינשטיין, אור גרינשטיין
כל מי שעתיד לנסוע לכרתים או ליוון, אני חייב להמליץ על חבר יקר, מדריך מעולה, אדם חביב ונעים הליכות שידריך אתכם בכרתים בעברית, אנגלית וגרמנית, מה שתבחרו.... ל- Joseph Batis אתר בו תוכלו להציץ במה שיש לו להציע לכם כולל תכנון הטיול ומלונות וכו' הציון שנתנו לו 10+ שווה מאוד... ביקרנו במקומות שבחיים לא הגענו אליהם בכרתים ! לחצו על השם וכנסו לאתר ! בהצלחה.