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Sagra dei Garagoi

Submitted by on March 31, 2014 – 8:26 amNo Comment

italy_marotta_garagoiHeads up, Road Trips Foodies, this event is for the cognoscenti. Scheduled for the weekend of April 25 through 27, 2014, is the Sagra dei Garagoi (“Festival of the Sea Snails”).

It takes place in Marotta, Italy, near Pesaro in the coastal region of La Marche. The first festival was organized by the fishermen of Marotta (called marottesi) in 1948.

Garagoi or sea snails are cooked in tomato sauce with plenty of peppers and served with locally made wines such as Bianchello or Verdicchio from the Colli Pesaresi (the locals say the best way to eat them is to take a sip of wine for every seven snails).

The sea snails are an edible mollusk that lives about eight miles from the coast in a stretch of sea that goes from Rimini to Ancona.

It’s not easy to prepare garagoi. Four or five days before the festival, they’re caught and brought ashore. They’re washed, washed and washed again in seawater and then laid in wooden boxes so whatever sand and mud is left leaches out.

To cook, sauté garlic in plenty of olive oil with finely chopped fennel and mint. As soon as the garlic begins to brown, add the garagoi (washed and drained well), then add salt, pepper and dry white wine. Once the wine has evaporated, add tomato paste diluted with hot water and, if necessary, correct again with salt and pepper. Boil until the sauce is thickened.

(Photo courtesy of Sagra dei Garagoi)

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