A foreign traveler visiting the south of Portugal between May and September will be puzzled by the proliferation of signs announcing “Há Caracois”. The signs themselves come in all shapes and sizes, from hand written blackboard notes for a local tasca (bar) to a designed, professionally produced image in fancy cervejarias (beer houses) or trendy cafés. “Há Caracois” translates as “we have snails”! The small snails appreciated in Portugal are the opposite end of the large French escargot as far as the snail spectrum goes. These are delicate tiny morsels of flavour which are expertly eaten through one of two methods: 1. sucking off the meat from the shells or 2. picking the tiny snail from its cosy shell with a cocktail stick. Cooked in a flavourful sauce seasoned with bay leaf, oregano and garlic each mouthful is a real treat and makes this one of the favourite petiscos (Portuguese tapas) in Portugal. Either way, eating caracois is a messy business, lots of napkins and cold beer are a must!