Moroccan Snails - Gastro Obscura

Prepared Foods

Moroccan Snails

The fragrant, intricately spiced street food is a medina specialty.

Around the world, diners enjoy snails in a multitude of ways, from formal restaurants in France to the beer garden–esque quán ốc of Vietnam. In Morocco, snails are a beloved street food. Cooked in a spiced broth outdoors, their aroma wafts through medinas, beckoning pedestrians.

Moroccan snails, also called babbouche or ghlal, are a rich, warm dish that’s especially popular during the winter. Vendors cook the snails in pots with hot water, salt, special spices, and herbs. Recipes vary but can feature more than 15 seasonings, including the likes of licorice root, lavender, tea leaves, and thyme. After cooking, the snails are served in small bowls with their broth. A toothpick is the tool of choice for extracting the creature from its white-and-brown shell. The snails and their broth are considered to have various health benefits, including alleviating rheumatism and colds.

Where to Try It
  • Jemaa El Fna
    Marrakesh, Morocco

    The night market also boasts delicious Marrakesh specialties such as sheep brains.

Written By
moroccanzest moroccanzest