The sharp, salty flavor of these snails stimulates the thirst—making them a perfect meze. Snails are plentiful in Crete, easily gathered and available in local markets, but it’s hard to find live ones in the U.S.

Yield: serves 4


  • 2 lb. snails in their shells
  • 6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. coarse salt
  • 6 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary


  1. Drain snails in their shells; rinse under cold water. Pour olive oil in a large skillet, sprinkle about salt evenly over oil, then arrange snails, opening side down, in skillet. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes, shaking skillet over heat several times. Add red wine vinegar and rosemary. Simmer uncovered, stirring often, for 5 minutes more. Serve snails very hot with pan juices.