How To Make Croatian Snails (Puževi)

Chasing the Donkey may include affiliate links - if you decide to make a purchase through these links, we receive a commission without any additional cost to you. Disclaimer & privacy policy.
Post author Mate

Written by our local expert Mate

Mate is Croatian and owns a transport company in the Balkans, he has visited over 30 countries. He is an expert on all things transportation as well as food and wine.

Do you like rainy days? Until recently, the rain just meant staying indoors, occupying the time cooking or playing with the baby donkey, and waiting for the sun to come out of hiding and once again shine.

Not now, now there is a silver lining to the heavens opening up. Sometimes we even pray for rain because that’s when the snails come out of hiding! You’re wondering why we’d care about the snails? It’s to eat them; snails are a delicious meal here in Croatia…


Once the rain has been tumbling for a few hours or a day, it’s time to don the wet weather gear and begin the search. It’s always best to wear a pair of gumboots and a raincoat as the fields are muddy and it often starts raining again.

Once adequately dressed,  it’s time to get out into the fields and start searching for the slippery suckers. If you want to eat snails where we live, you have to collect them yourself, and you have to act fast as often there are many people out hunting for them.


expat eats sails
This expat hunted these slippery suckers down.

The hunting process isn’t for everyone; you have to bend down and rummage through the long, itchy grass and look for just one particular kind of species. There are several species around, so you need a keen eye and a strong back. On average, it takes about 3 hours to collect enough of the right kind of snail to feed our family of 6-10 people.


When it rains the snails come out of hiding and my boy likes to find them. #chasingthedonkey in #croatia #snails #snail #puz #puż #pużi

A photo posted by SJ in Croatia (@chasingthedonkeycroatia) on

Brands We Use And Trust


Snail Preparation

Once you have your bag of snails, it’s time to hang them. You can’t eat freshly caught snail straight away, which is a little torturous in some ways. Instead, you need to place all of the snails into a mesh bag and hang them in a protected area, such as from the fig tree or in your garage. It’s important to let them hang for at least ten days and no more than three weeks; this allows enough time for the snails to excrete the gunk from their insides out.

expat catches snails
Snails hanging out to dry

Let’s Cook

Just about the time you had to forget about your snail collection, it’s time to eat them. Firstly you must give the snails a good wash in cold running water. It’s best to do this a few times; you really need to be sure that the snail gunk is washed away. Once washed, the snails bounce back to life and try to escape your clutches – fortunately, they are so slow you always have time to pick them back up and plonk them back into your bucket.

Almost Done

Now it’s time to throw your snails into a large pot with plenty of sea salt & fresh cold water and bring them to the boil. The snails need to boil for a good 20-30 minutes, and then they are ready to devour.

Croatian Cooking Snails_Puzevi


We serve the snails on individual plates, with a few toothpicks. These toothpicks are the perfect tool to remove the flesh from the shell.  Once the fleshy goodness is removed from the shell, we dip them onto a mix of homemade vinegar & extra virgin olive oil. Sometimes with a little pepper. An asparagus and egg salad and a chunk of freshly baked bread makes this the perfect accompanying side dish.

Snails. Yes or no for you? Please let us know in the comments box below. If you’ve eaten them before, did you like them? 

Comments (35)

  1. Hi there! It’s raining today in Montreal Quebec Canada and I’ve recently discovered your website. Your articles make me smile and nostalgic for my many summers spent in Croatia… I think your website may be slowly convincing me to move there myself ;) This snail article really made me chuckle. I remember like it was yesterday being at our family home in Bralić and my aunties going out and collecting snails. I was about 4!years old and totally grossed out! They hung the bag on a hook on the shady side of the house and after a few hours, because of what I am guessing a loose knot, the snails snailled their way out and we’re ALL OVER THE WALL! I’m pretty sure I screamed and definitely know that I refused to eat them later on that night! Now as an adult, I live those little guys smothered in garlic butter and some nice fresh crusty bread. But will ever forget that first “snail experience”? Never. Thank you for this article and can’t wait to read through more of your recipes!

  2. Njam, ali moraju se znat pripremit da bi bili ukusni.super je sta su puzevi divlji ulovljeni

  3. So funny, my husband is in Croatia and last week his friend got all bunch of them snails and they tried to make a meal..ha ha ha ha… He said it tasted like very nasty garlic flavor chewing gum…

  4. Sorry SJ, but I don’t eat them (remember: must have two or four legs).
    However, I can provide you with a recipe:
    After cooking, pick them out of the shell, and prepare a butter with (plenty of) garlic, pepper, salt, parsley.
    Put some of it in the shell, put the snail back in, add some more of that butter, and put them in a preheated stove for let’s say ten minutes.
    If you like, top them of with some grated nice cheese (Pagki Sir !) and some breadcrumbs.
    Any experiment with the butter always is worth the trial, a pinch of sage, a sniff thyme, a drop of fresh lemon juice, just try it and see what you prefer most.
    Oh, and put some french bread in the stove together with them snails.
    Great to dip that juice with.

    1. Okay, i do like the sounds of this myself and I think Mr. CtD will also.
      Although my guess is our Dalmatian family will say it’s too complicated and too fancy pants. I’ll try this and put up the recipe when we next do snails. WHich with all of this rain, should be soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Move This Adventure To Your Inbox & Get An Instant Freebie

Subscribe To Unlock Your FREE Customizable Travel Packing List & All Our Best Tips!