Friday, July 29, 2011

Anna Sultana's Bebbux bl-Arjoli / Snails with Arjoli Sauce, Maltese Style

Here in Manitoba this is another holiday weekend.
This Monday is called "Civic Holiday".
I'm not kidding.
Or complaining.

Summers are short here and we can always use another long weekend.

Malta has quite a few festas and holidays on its calendar.
It's an awfully good idea.
And it's traditional.
No way would a parish give up the chance to celebrate its patron saint.
And the tourists love festas.
No way would the Maltese want to disappoint them.

Bebbux bl-Arjoli means Snails with Arjoli Sauce.
Yes, snails.
In Malta snails are collected after the first Autumn rains in mid-October.
Then the snails are starved before being cooked.  
This is done by keeping them in a pot for a few days.
Ah, tradition!

No, I can't find fresh snails in my local grocery store, either.
Neither could Ma.
But this is a nice simple sauce and it goes just as well with shrimp.
Or clams.
Or mussels.
And shrimp, clams and mussels are easier to prepare.
Shrimp is also sold pre-cooked.
Just sayin'.

I'll give the instructions for preparing snails.
If you're using one of the other three, or something else, well, I trust you to know what to do.

Happy Holidays!!

                        Bebbux bl-Arjoli

Wash thoroughly in salted water a few times
1 pound snails

In a medium pot of salted boiling water add the snails.
Simmer until the snails are cooked.
Test if the snails are cooked by trying to remove the snail from the shell.
If cooked, the flesh comes away easily.
Drain and remove each snail from its shell.
Place on a large platter.

Arjoli Sauce

Mix well together
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 Cup olive oil
1/4 Cup chopped parsley
1 large tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
3 Tablespoons plain dried bread crumbs 
1/8 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
Pour sauce over the cooked snails.

This can be served with hobz biz-zejt (crusty bread with oil) cut into small pieces as an appetizer or first course.


  1. HI Margaret I m Vanessa from Malta. It s nice finding a maltese here too. the recipie looks lovely I ll try it over the weekend. Thanks

    1. Hi, Vanessa, It's great to meet another Maltese! Hope you like the bebbux recipe and that you'll find others here you like, too! Sahha!!

  2. Margaret, I'm too squeamish to eat snails but the sauce sounds good. Cheers

  3. Carole, I've never been able to find snails in our stores. That's how I learned the sauce works well with other things, too!
    Have a nice weekend!

  4. I have had this once when I was on vacation. I don't know if I would be brave enough to make them, I can attest they were delicious. I think you could put this sauce on anything and it would be delicious.

    Madonna/aka/Ms. Lemon

  5. Hi, Madonna/aka/Ms Lemon of Make Mine Lemon,

    Snails are a problem for many, either to find or eat.
    You're right - the sauce does go well on other things, too!


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