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snails For Meat-days


This is an excerpt from The Neapolitan recipe collection
(Italy, 15th c - T. Scully, trans.)
The original source can be found at University of Michigan Digital General Collection

Snails for Meat-Days. Get only those snails found on rosemary, vines, fennel, vines or grapes, because these are restaurative and moistening for the body; to clean them out, get bran flour and put the snails in an earthenware pot [with the bran], and in this way they are cleaned out; leave them a day and a night in the bran flour; when you want to prepare them for eating, wash them well so that no bran is left, bring them to a boil, discard the water and wash them again thoroughly; get the amount of water you want for the broth, boil them, and with them put in rosemary, pepper, a lot of fennel, and mint; when they are well cooked, and if it is a meat-day, put a good ham-bone in to boil; if it is a lean-day, put in good oil; dish them out into small plates with good, fine mild spices. Note that they should have a good smell of pepper, and pick them out with a small pin. If you have large snails, boil them in a kettle, pick them out and wash them thoroughly; remove the fore part, throw away the bowels, flour the rest and fry them in good oil.

[Note that all of them are cooked in their shell, except for the large ones which are picked out for frying, yet they are first boiled in their shell.]

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