Inmates prepare snail shells for European dishes

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Inmates at the Bandırma Open Penal Institution in the northwestern province of Balıkesir are preparing snail shells to serve European palates.

In a workshop set up in the prison, the snail shells repaired by prisoners working on a voluntary basis are being prepared to be used in European dishes after they get sent to factories.

The most important stage of snails prepared with butter, parsley and garlic is carried out by the workshop at Bandırma Open Penal Execution Institution.

One-third of Turkey’s annual exports of stuffed snails, worth 70 million Turkish Liras ($11,5 million), is provided from this workshop.

Beytullah A., who has been convicted in the Bandırma Open Penal Execution Institution for about two years, said that he has been working in the workshop for 18 months and loves his job.

Stating that he did not even know that the snail would be eaten before, Beytullah said, “It is the first time I have learned here. I love doing my job here.”

“I spend my time in a qualified manner without getting bored. My work here also makes my family happy,” he said.

Prison warden Zekeriya Sancaktar said that this was an attempt to bring convicts back into society and contribute to the economy.

“I did not know that snail shells would be repaired either. Snail shells come to this workshop from the factory through the company we deal with. Small holes on the shells are covered with food gel, which is not harmful to human health,” Sancaktar said.

“After the shells are washed and cleaned, we take them to the factory in nearby Bilecik province. Cooked butter is put into the shells, then it is exported abroad,” he added.

Hurriyet Daily News

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