It is one of the typical and most recognizable dishes of the Cordoba gastronomyespecially for the natives who every season celebrate the assembly of the snail stalls in the capital as a prologue to an early spring In cordoba.

Snail season is here, and from Friday, February 23 to June 19at the gates of summer, Cordobans and visitors will be able to taste this delicacy in its different variants that range from the classic small or fat ones with broth or sauceto more international recipes that have become popular in recent years in a desire to innovate recipes and appeal to all types of palates.

Exalted as Cordoba traditionperhaps many do not know where the habit of eating snails in Córdoba, because although this product is also present this season in the restaurants of other provinces, such as Jaén or Seville, there is a characteristic and Cordoba way of eating snails.

La Magdalena snail stand, in a file image.

The origin of Córdoba snails

To locate the origin of the taste for this raw material, you don’t have to go far and it is in the orchards that surrounded the capital decades ago (and that can still be found in some areas) and in which the presence of this mollusk was abundant. Hence, it was a commonly consumed food in Cordoban homes and street vendors traded in snails.

To find the first snail shops and sales stalls like those that are distributed throughout the capital today, we had to wait until the middle of the last 20th century, specifically in the 60swhen they were installed the first positions in the peripheral areas. In the middle of that decade, in 1965, it is installed in the Plaza de la Magdalena the oldest snail stand in the capital.

Mari Cruz Pérez shows the snails with nachos.

Unlike snails from other provinces, although this dish can also be found on the menu of many bars and taverns in Córdoba, the typical way to eat snails in the capital is to go to one of the many stalls arranged in the squares and avenues of different neighborhoods of the capital –which this 2022 there are 36- and taste the dish at the bar or at the table with the drink. And, be careful, only snails are served.

2024 season

With more than sixty years of tradition behind them, the caracoleros are preparing for a new season which this year is expected to be very lively.

The installation of the stalls began on February 19 and the stoves are at full capacity from Friday the 23rd until the end of the season on June 19.

Total, 35 of the 43 authorized positions have been installed by the Córdoba City Council, and the culinary offer includes this year from the most traditional recipes to variations such as snails with tikka masala, tex-mex or kebab style.

Snail stalls in Córdoba for the 2024 season

(Enlarge the graph here)