SPAIN: AT BREAKING POINT? A political and economic analysis for 2013 IBERIANS OF THE YEAR: The most influential people and groups of 2012

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Certainly chowing down on the little brown gastropods is not to everybody’s liking, though across Spain they can easily be found on restaurant and café menus and there are even a number of well-patronized snail fiestas. The molluscan delicacies are either farmed or gathered – hunted? – from the wild: the latter are usually collected in autumn after a good downpour, purged on grit for two to three weeks and then gorged on herbs before finally being cooked in a caldo (stock) – anything from garlic, ham off-cuts and herbs to simple tomato sauce. It’s not fast food for sure, but it’s not unusual to see the odd snail sandwich being handed to the kids.