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samatm

My wife says they used to collect snails from the rice fields to sell to the Japanese. Are these snails creeping around my Mactan garden edible? I'm suspecting they are, but would like to hear from you. Any good recipes from folks who have cooked these monsters up? Im not looking for Google recipes but your actual tried and true dishes. Im guessing it would be good to collect them and feed them some sort of meal for a day or two to purge their systems before cooking.

 

I have cooked up the sea snails by boiling them and then sauteing them. I have also eaten them in sea food soups and picked them out with a safety pin as is customary here. But never have I cooked the large land based snails commonly found here? What say ye?

Edited by samatm
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Where is Dablindfrog when you need him?

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Athena

I doubt it ……… snail (landsnails) are not a delicacy in Cebu. They are more a delicacy from people north of Manila. From what I gather they are a special type of snails ……..

 

but if youre talking sea snails – now that is vastly different and sooooooo delicious ……….

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RogerDat

Greetings! I don't think you should eat them as they can carry heart worm eggs, and are implicated in heart worm infestations in dogs. I don't remember if people can get that parasite or not.

I used to smash them at Clark in my yard cause they damaged my bell peppers and tomato plants. Only years later did I come across the warning about them and dogs. they crawl across bones, and dog dishes at night, and leave heart worm eggs behind.

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lazydays

I believe that only certain types of snails are edible, that is why we have snail farms in Europe, and don't just pick out any old snail from the garden.

I am led to believe that in some parts of the world, some types of snails can be poisonous, but i'm not sure.

A Chef or a Frenchman/Japanese would probably know.

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Wombat No More

Nuthin like goin overboard with a simple reply... but, here ya go mate.

 

I'm fairly sure that the little (big) suckers are Giant African Snails (GAF). They are a scourge in several countries and are banned. (U.S. and Australia are 2 that ban them and active measures ensure they don't get in?) The snails decimate fruit and vegetable crops. They are kept as pets by some people. Don't know about eating them but dogs are known to die after eating. Also, snails carry a lot of bad things, including parasites, which often use snails as an intermediatary host on the way to other animals, including humans. I suppose cooking them well might fix most probs.

 

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All Giant African Land snails belong to the family of snails called the Archachatinidae. This is a very large family and includes several small genera, for example Limicolaria. There are two genera of true giant land snails, and these are called Archachatina and Achatina. Between them there are over 60 species of Giant African Land snails.

 

Archachatina – These are considered more primitive than Achatina. They usually have a blunt tip to the shell, and they lay 5-10 large chalky eggs at a time. The largest species is Archachatina marginata which can grow up to 12cm long and has a characteristic yellow stripe inside the lip of the shell and a brown body. Archachatina degneri is smaller (about 8-9cm) and has a purple stripe inside the lip and a dark stripe running along the centre of its body.

 

Achatina – These are similar to Archachatina, but have a pronounced pointed tip to the shell. They lay huge clusters of jelly coated eggs, sometimes as many as 500 at a time but more often 40-100. Achatina achatina is the largest of all land snails, and has a characteristic yellow-brown and black zigzag patterned shell and a black skin with white or grey tubercles. The largest specimen was 450g in weight and had a shell length of 37cm! Achatina fulica is the most well known of African Land snails as it is a prolific breeder and has colonised many tropical countries and become a pest in many. It has a brown mottled shell and skin colour similar to Archachatina, but its tubercles are coarser.

 

There are many other kinds, but these are the ones most frequently found in pet shops.

 

Does it matter which kind of snail I have? No, not really if you just want to keep them as pets, as they all have similar requirements. However, if you keep Achatina, you need to be aware that they are going to produce lots of offspring, and you will need to dispose of them sensibly and humanely. It is illegal to release them into the wild in the UK. As all snails are hermaphrodite, any two snails of the same type can breed and produce young, so you could have this problem with any species. It is advisable not to keep more than one species in the same tank. BE A RESPONSIBLE pet snail owner.

 

Read the article on Man and Mollusc: "The Oreo-Odessa Files" – a snails eye view on the pros, cons and legalities of keeping a snail as a pet.

 

The article is at:http://www.manandmollusc.net/Odessa/odessa-index.html

 

 

Requirements

  • Tank – glass, Perspex or plastic, depending on cost and availability. 10cm.sq. tank per 2.5 cm sq of snail is advisable.
  • Substrate – potting compost or similar to line tank. Peat based multipurpose or seed and cutting compost are best, but untreated peat should not be used (too acidic). Try to use compost without soil wetting agents or high nutrients.
    Also avoid bark chips, wood shavings, sand and loam based composts (John Innes). Place about 15–20cm at the base, and keep moist. It is advisable to change all the compost every 6 weeks - 3 months, not more often as this disturbs the snails unnecessarily.
  • Water – in a heavy bowl, and occasional misting with a sprayer.
  • Calcium source – e.g. cuttlebone
  • Food – a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables. All snails have different tastes, but staples are lettuce, cucumber and apples. Other favourites include spinach, courgettes, sweet corn, avocados, mangos, strawberries, papaya and melon. For carbohydrates provide occasional porridge oats, bran, wholemeal bread or dog biscuits. Acidic fruit such as oranges and grapes should not be given too often, and they are generally not keen on potatoes, carrots and other root vegetables, or cabbage and its relatives.

Optional

  • Light – this enables you to see the snails and may help to keep plants alive longer, but as the snails are mostly noctural it may not be necessary for their welfare. There is some evidence that egg hatching rates may be affected by light levels. All lights and cables should be outside the tank and inaccessible for the snails.
  • Heating – this depends on how warm it is in your home, but as snails are tropical they do best at 68–72°F. Tanks should never be placed next to a radiator or other heating source, in a draught or in bright sunlight as these can cause uneven heating or cooling. This can damage the tank and/or harm the snails. The best method is to use a heating mat which heats the tank externally and has a built-in thermostat.
  • Tank furniture – pieces of wood, moss, flower pots etc can all be used for the snails to shelter under. Ideally these should be sterilised and kept clean.
  • Plants – Providing a plant makes the tank more natural seeming for the snails and helps stop the air from going stagnant, but they need to be capable of withstanding warm, damp conditions. Hairy leafed plants are best avoided. Snails do a lot of damage and plants need to be replaced often. It is best to use something cheap and easily replaceable such as ivy or ferns.

Handling

Snails imported to the UK can carry diseases so it is best to obtain ones that have been bred in this country if possible. Usually these diseases are only transmitted to humans if there is lack of proper hygiene, therefore it is quite safe to handle your snails without gloves, but you should wash your hands afterwards.

 

From the viewpoint of snail welfare, it is best not to handle your snails too often, especially if you are waking them up to do so. However they do get used to being touched and will respond to being handled, often gently grazing sweat and salts from the skin (which may tickle but will not hurt you). Don't hold the shell by the delicate part where the new growth joins on to the existing shell – this corner is a particularly delicate area – unfortunately it also happens to be one of the most natural places to put your fingers when you hold your snail! To get a snail off the side of a tank I find it is best to spray the snail and your hand, then gently slip your finger under its head, then using both hands slide a few fingers under its body, while gently supporting it with the other hand.

 

 

Illnesses

There are many pests and diseases that attack African Land snails in their native environment but many of them do not seem to occur with captive snails. There are too many to list here and most vets know very little about the subject. With proper care most snails will live to a ripe old age of 8 - 10 years.

 

Breeding

Most species are able to breed at 9-18 months, and can breed all year round. Eggs take 4-8 weeks to hatch, depending on species. Remove the eggs from the tank, separate them from the substrate and dry them out at room temperature for three days. Apparently if there is less than an 1inch of substrate the snails are discouraged from breeding. If you cannot find homes for surplus young you should destroy the eggs by freezing or boiling

 

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Jess Bartone
Im guessing it would be good to collect them and feed them some sort of meal for a day or two to purge their systems before cooking.

I am led to believe that in some parts of the world, some types of snails can be poisonous, but i'm not sure.

Don't know about eating them but dogs are known to die after eating.

 

You're all very close, especially the OP... it's not the snails that are poisonous, it's the weeds they eat (as well as your prize lettuces and tomatoes). That green slime and long skinny turds are laden with toxins from weeds whose evolutionary strategy was to make themselves toxic to most grazing animals, but of course a few, like snails, adapted, just as rats gain resistance to warfarin. At some point snails ventured into the sea, many of which had no reason to evolve much further, other than breathing underwater, but a few evolved to be predatory carnivores, such as the nautilus, the squid, and the calamari. Apparently there is nothing particularly toxic in the sea, because pretty much any of the sea snails and their descendants are good tucker.

 

But the land snails are not so accessible. I am fairly sure that you could eat any land snail as long as you faithfully perform a 3-day feeding, purging, and washing process. Make a roughly globe shaped cage out of chicken wire of a gauge smaller than your smallest snail, with a little trap door opening to insert the snails and the lettuce. After the first day of the snails gorging themselves on nice fresh clean lettuce, remove the scraps and place them in a rubbish bin, as they're more than likely covered in toxic slime (depending where you collected the snails and what they've been eating). Take your garden hose with a moderate pressure and hose the snails down thoroughly, rolling your mesh ball around on the ground to ensure all the snails are dislodged from the wire and get a good wash. Insert a heap more lettuce, leave for another day (always in the shade), and repeat the cleaning process, only this time don't give them any lettuce, let them purge for a day or even two, washing them at least once if not twice a day.

 

Take your snails and plunge them in rapidly boiling water for 30 seconds or so, more or less depending on the size of the snails, at least until the water comes back on the boil, then drain and wash with fresh cold water (so you can hold the little buggers without burning your fingers). At this point you should be able to pop the snails out of their shells with your fingernails or a pair of tweezers. In a large cast iron pan bring some butter up to melting point and add some cold pressed cooking oil to help save the butter from burning, then gently stir-fry some finely diced onion and garlic, ginger optional, until the onions are just starting to become semi-opaque, and add the snails, increasing the heat to keep the pan hot, but here it is very critical that you do not burn or even brown the butter or the dish is ruined. Add some fresh chooped parsley or coriander or a bit of both. Continue stirring and tossing the snails rapidly around the pan, as this will also help prevent the butter from burning, but the heat setting is really crucial... too hot and it buggers the meal, or too cool and the snails end up like rubber. You've got to find the balance between sprightly stir frying and bloody burning butter. One could practice by starting with oil only, and add more butter next time, as a gauge of what temperature you need to get tender snails, until eventually you'll be cooking perfect snails in butter only. Of course cooking in oil only gives you the flexibility to scorch the bloody blighters and make them nice and tender, but once you've had them cooked properly in butter they are to die for.

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A_Simple_Man

 

You're all very close, especially the OP... it's not the snails that are poisonous, it's the weeds they eat (as well as your prize lettuces and tomatoes). That green slime and long skinny turds are laden with toxins from weeds whose evolutionary strategy was to make themselves toxic to most grazing animals, but of course a few, like snails, adapted, just as rats gain resistance to warfarin. At some point snails ventured into the sea, many of which had no reason to evolve much further, other than breathing underwater, but a few evolved to be predatory carnivores, such as the nautilus, the squid, and the calamari. Apparently there is nothing particularly toxic in the sea, because pretty much any of the sea snails and their descendants are good tucker.

 

But the land snails are not so accessible. I am fairly sure that you could eat any land snail as long as you faithfully perform a 3-day feeding, purging, and washing process. Make a roughly globe shaped cage out of chicken wire of a gauge smaller than your smallest snail, with a little trap door opening to insert the snails and the lettuce. After the first day of the snails gorging themselves on nice fresh clean lettuce, remove the scraps and place them in a rubbish bin, as they're more than likely covered in toxic slime (depending where you collected the snails and what they've been eating). Take your garden hose with a moderate pressure and hose the snails down thoroughly, rolling your mesh ball around on the ground to ensure all the snails are dislodged from the wire and get a good wash. Insert a heap more lettuce, leave for another day (always in the shade), and repeat the cleaning process, only this time don't give them any lettuce, let them purge for a day or even two, washing them at least once if not twice a day.

 

Take your snails and plunge them in rapidly boiling water for 30 seconds or so, more or less depending on the size of the snails, at least until the water comes back on the boil, then drain and wash with fresh cold water (so you can hold the little buggers without burning your fingers). At this point you should be able to pop the snails out of their shells with your fingernails or a pair of tweezers. In a large cast iron pan bring some butter up to melting point and add some cold pressed cooking oil to help save the butter from burning, then gently stir-fry some finely diced onion and garlic, ginger optional, until the onions are just starting to become semi-opaque, and add the snails, increasing the heat to keep the pan hot, but here it is very critical that you do not burn or even brown the butter or the dish is ruined. Add some fresh chooped parsley or coriander or a bit of both. Continue stirring and tossing the snails rapidly around the pan, as this will also help prevent the butter from burning, but the heat setting is really crucial... too hot and it buggers the meal, or too cool and the snails end up like rubber. You've got to find the balance between sprightly stir frying and bloody burning butter. One could practice by starting with oil only, and add more butter next time, as a gauge of what temperature you need to get tender snails, until eventually you'll be cooking perfect snails in butter only. Of course cooking in oil only gives you the flexibility to scorch the bloody blighters and make them nice and tender, but once you've had them cooked properly in butter they are to die for.

I'm not looking for Google recipes but your actual tried and true dishes

 

The opening post made it very clear that he was asking for people who have actually tried it. Have you tried the local snails prepared the way you suggest and suffered no ill effects. If so I will suggest an escargot party where you can demonstrate to members who attend just how to eat them and we can follow your lead. Escargot are Sooooooooo great but when I see something that even the locals won't eat I get suspicious. My wife will eat just about anything except the local snails, frogs and cobras.

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Jess Bartone

... it's not the snails that are poisonous, it's the weeds they eat...

 

... I am fairly sure that you could eat any land snail as long as you faithfully perform a 3-day feeding, purging, and washing process...

except the local snails, frogs and cobras.

 

People usually don't eat certain foods because they heard it is deadly. I honestly can't be bothered researching Filipino snails, but I will be following my own instructions at some point if I can get my hands on one or two of those big snails.

 

Nothing wrong with frogs except all toads and some frogs have toxic skin... plunge in boiling water for a few seconds and peel. Snake is delicious, and not only very appetizing but also highly nutritious. After the head and poison sacks have been removed, what's not to like about it?

 

I doubt very much if anyone would suddenly decide to eat snail just because this fool said so, but you never know... although adventurous types such as m'self would jump at the chance. Anyway argument is stupid, just purge a snail (maybe 4 or 5 days for such a big one), and when you're sure it's clean and the gut is empty, take the damn thing to a laboratory and have it tested for the presence of toxins... or don't.

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batman2525

If You throw them in with some soup or curry they should be ok just make sure they are cooked well.

Edited by batman2525
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broden

i turned my wifes family on to scungilli years back

now they love it as much as i do

excellent with pasta

 

 

they may be similar but they won't have that taste of the sea

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Jess Bartone

Well, This says that giant African land snails ARE edible. So, I suppose if anybody really wants to eat them, go for it.

 

http://www.guardian....nd-snails-video

 

He says he just ate the foot, but I'm sure if it was purged and cleaned properly you could eat the whole thing. Thanks for the link, it confirms what I already knew... snails are NOT toxic, as the Simple Man asserts, but some of the weeds they eat are.

 

P.S. Millions of Indians survive on gutter rat meat. I'm sure plenty of people would produce the "eeewwww yuck" reaction, but no mater what filth and disease rats play in, no matter what the tender-stomached strictly white-bread-and-meat-with-three-veg crowd say, rat meat is perfectly edible protein... as is snail.

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