Team Cargols is a Perpignan-based association created back in 2014.
Their goal: promoting and developing snail cuisine, in particular, the “petits gris” (little greys), at a local, national and European level.
Via their culinary crusade, they also seek to forge social connections and build friendships, raising money and awareness to shape a more humane society.
Well, if snails aren’t bothered by gender, colour, religion, political persuasion or age, why should we be?
New Year’s Eve / Aplec del Caragol
As with human New Year’s Eve, the snail new year is also cause for big celebrations.
The annual Aplec del Caragol sees the the Catalan town of Lleida, just inland from Barcelona, burst to life with snail-lovers from far and wide.
Every year, this celebration brings together over 100 associations, over 10 000 participants and more than 200, 000 visitors and Team Cargols is the first non-Spanish association to become part of the festival!
The 2020 event was cancelled for obvious reasons but a tentative date has been set for 2021: 3rd – 5th September… watch this space.
Festival del Escargot
Inspired by the celebrations in Lleida, the snail trail has glided its way north, usually making a stop-off on Mount Canigou as part of the summer solstice Saint Jean celebrations) before finally arriving at the Parc de Clairfont in Toulouges for the Festival de l’Escargot the first weekend of July.
The four pillars of the Snail Fest are:
1. The conviviality of the cargolada, gastronomic heritage of Roussillon.
2. The Catalan culture and the richness of the Pyrenees Orientales region.
3. The participation of associations and exhibitors representing the area.
4. A varied programme, free of charge, to stimulate curiosity.
So whatever your opinion on the slippery little suckers, this is a great occasion to (re)discover the epitome of Catalonia.