One of the most revered flavours of Spanish recipes

The Roman Empire left a lasting legacy in the Mediterranean culture and in its gastronomy. And we should thank them for one of the most exquisite and revered delicacies that exist in the Spanish cookbook: snails. Its firm and lean meat can be eaten in many ways: with sauces, soup or even paella. The variety most commonly used in gastronomy is the Helix Aspersa, also known as common snail, Bover or Burgao.

The Helix Aspersa is the traditional Malaga snail, it is the specimen that dominates the entire Mediterranean basin and used to living in temperate climates. There are other species of snails widely used at a culinary level such as the Helix Lucorum (larger), Helix Lactea (common in high and wooded areas of the Mediterranean) or Helix Cincta, but less frequent in our region. The Malaga snail can be found almost anywhere in the province, as their breeding is common both in the inner and coastal areas. The most common way to prepare it is with sauce. You only have to boil it in salted water for a few minutes and cook it in the sauce of your choice. The most usual ones common sauces are Salsa Riojana o la Salsa Vizcaina. You can also enjoy it grilled, with rabbit, spices or with mint leaves.

White caviar: this small, slow and invertebrate mollusc hides another secret. If the Malaga snail meat is coveted, even more so are its eggs, a delicatessen nicknamed white caviar or earth caviar. Snail eggs provide an intense flavour and field aroma and its value can reach 2,000 euros per kilo in the market. Thanks to its exquisite flavour, white Malaga caviar can be eaten on its own. However, some of the recipes devised by top chefs in the world include this dish with guacamole sandwiches, sushi tacos, black caviar, melon and ham or cod.

This small, slow and invertebrate mollusc hides another secret. If the Malaga snail meat is coveted, even more so are its eggs, a delicatessen nicknamed white caviar or earth caviar. Snail eggs provide an intense flavour and field aroma and its value can reach 2,000 euros per kilo in the market. Thanks to its exquisite flavour, white Malaga caviar can be eaten on its own. However, some of the recipes devised by top chefs in the world include this dish with guacamole sandwiches, sushi tacos, black caviar, melon and ham or cod.

Land snail farming for commercial purposes is an increasingly widespread practice in Malaga. In 2014 the ACHA (land snail farming Association of Andalusia) was created in order to breed and promote the real Malaga snail and which nowadays has almost fifty partners in the province. Malaga snail farms are scattered throughout the Costa del Sol: from the beach areas (Nerja, Estepona, Torremolinos, Rincon de la Victoria …) to the inland areas (Archidona, Villanueva del Trabuco or Riogordo, among others).

Snail eggs have an important nutritional value and numerous properties for humans. In addition to its exquisite flavour, every bite has got a high protein intake (beneficial for muscle development), vitamin A (which strengthens the immune system), vitamin B3 (useful for the circulatory system), vitamin B12 (for the nervous system) and vitamin C (also important for the immune system and one of the most important nutrients for preventing cancer).

Malaga’s caviar has got several national and international relevant brands. An example of these is the company born from the union two farms: La Dehesa (located in Villanueva del Trabuco) and Axarcol (located in Velez-Malaga). Snail eggs have become an ingredient that some of the most important chefs of our country have already incorporated into their creations and one of the most prized delicacies in the international culinary market.