Locally renowned river snails attract thousands of visitors

Tourists taste river snails in assorted flavors in Jiangba Town, Huai’an, Jiangsu Province on March 31, 2024. /CFP

Tourists taste river snails in assorted flavors in Jiangba Town, Huai’an, Jiangsu Province on March 31, 2024. /CFP

Tourists take photos at a river snail gourmet festival in Jiangba Town, Huai’an, Jiangsu Province on March 31, 2024. /CFP

Tourists take photos at a river snail gourmet festival in Jiangba Town, Huai’an, Jiangsu Province on March 31, 2024. /CFP

Local chefs prepare river snails on site in Jiangba Town, Huai’an, Jiangsu Province on March 31, 2024. /CFP

Local chefs prepare river snails on site in Jiangba Town, Huai’an, Jiangsu Province on March 31, 2024. /CFP

A river snail gourmet festival attracts thousands of people to Jiangba Town, Huai’an, Jiangsu Province. /CFP

A river snail gourmet festival attracts thousands of people to Jiangba Town, Huai’an, Jiangsu Province. /CFP

Various spices such as star anise and bay leaves are added to river snails, a popular dish around Qingming Festival. /CFP

Various spices such as star anise and bay leaves are added to river snails, a popular dish around Qingming Festival. /CFP

As spring blooms across China, the river snail gourmet festival in Jiangba Town, Huai’an, Jiangsu Province has wrapped up its annual celebration of this unique culinary tradition. Till March 31, the festival drew nearly 60,000 visitors daily, all eager to indulge in a local delicacy: river snails harvested from the fifth-largest freshwater lake in China, Hongze Lake.

The aroma of freshly cooked river snails fills the air, permeating the streets and alleyways of Huai’an as locals and tourists alike relish the seasonal delights. With river snails plump and succulent, the dishes served up range from steamed to stir-fried, each offering a taste of the region’s culinary heritage. But for the residents of Huai’an, this festival is more than just about food. It’s a celebration of spring’s arrival and a chance to embrace life’s simple pleasures.