Castro Marim Snail Festival redesigned with take-away service and online events

Castro Marim Council has decided against cancelling the town’s popular International Snail Festival (Festival Internacional do Caracol) and instead it has “redesigned” the event, with local eateries offering take-away service, sharing recipes, and participating in virtual debates and workshops.

Taking place until June 21, the festival will allow people to order their favourite snail dishes from local eateries and pick them up to be enjoyed at home. A total of 15 eateries are taking part – five in Castro Marim, seven in Altura, two in Odeleite and one in Junqueira.

“The idea is to minimise the economic impact caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, allowing all the eateries in the borough to participate by providing a take-away service,” the council says.

Throughout the following weeks, a series of online debates are due to be streamed on the council’s Facebook page (search for ‘Município de Castro Marim’) featuring local chefs and cooks who will be sharing their ideas and recipes of the special delicacy, enjoyed by so many in Portugal.

“Apart from supporting small businesses and restaurants in these difficult times, the festival will also help promote Castro Marim’s salt, one of the key ingredients used in snail recipes,” the council says.

Snails are a popular snack in Portugal and a staple dish at many eateries, especially in the spring and summer months. They are most commonly cooked in boiling water, seasoned with salt, olive oil, garlic, oregano and sometimes piri-piri. Snails are served with a side dish of buttered toast and a beer.

The full list of participating eateries can be found online on the event’s Facebook page (search for Festival Internacional do Caracol online).