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a classic Venetian summer recipe

In Venetian dialect “bovoeti” are small spotted Mediterranean snails, which can be collected in large quantities in the garden or in the wild after a downpour or early in the morning when the leaves are still damp from the dew. In Italy they can also be bought from fishmongers. Venetians know how to evoke a real delicacy from this dish of the poor. They are certainly not lacking in Venetian taverns and bacari or traditional summer festivals, but it is not uncommon to find them on the menu of a refined Venetian restaurant.

This Venetian recipe can be enjoyed as an appetizer or as a treat after a meal between a chat, or between an “ombra” (a glass of wine) and the other.

Recipe for 1 kg of bovoeti (Mediterranean snails):

Wash the “bovoeti” in the sink with very little warm water. Repeat the operation several times, always changing the very little lukewarm water, until the “bovoeti” no longer foam or foam very little. After the various washings, leave the “bovoeti” still in the sink with very little lukewarm water for half an hour. The “bovoeti” start to move in the sink. Drain away the water and rinse quickly.

Put the “bovoeti” in a large, low pot with very little lukewarm water, cover with a transparent glass lid and place them in the sun for at least an hour.

In this way the “bovoeti” come out again and start to move around inside the pot. When they are all moving or have come out of the shell, put the pot on very high heat and after boiling water, cook again for about 1 minute. Remove from the heat, add a handful of coarse salt and let it season. After half an hour, put the “bovoeti” in a strainer and let the salt water drain. Do not rinse with water.   

Separately, chop garlic (3-4 cloves) and parsley (about 50 gr.). In a bowl season the drained “bovoeti” with oil, salt and pepper, chopped garlic and parsley. Mix and leave them in the fridge for a few hours. 

Now with a toothpick pull the snail out of the shell and enjoy a blaze of goodness. Drink a sip of good prosecco and you have entered the Venetian summer. Enjoy your meal!

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