25 Apr2014

Garden Snails

by Marketman

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Think these snails are edible? I was on my computer one day and spied this rather cheeky snail crawling up outside the glass sliding door in our home office. Visions of this plate of escargots crossed my mind, but decided I shouldn’t risk it. There are lots of snails out there that probably AREN’T good for you. I still would like to visit a rice paddy that has lots of kuhol or small edible snails that are sold in markets… and I have always wondered who the first adventurous (or desperate) person was who decided to cook them (and other unusual types of food like crickets and ant eggs).

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COMMENTS:

  1. KM says:

    I once saw an episode of one of Gordon Ramsey’s shows where he harvested all the snails he has in his garden and cooked it with his children. Though I wanted to try that, I also decided I didn’t want to risk it.

    Apr 25, 2014 | 5:18 pm

     
  2. MLA says:

    Ewwwww. Even with butter and garlic, ewwwww.

    Apr 25, 2014 | 8:25 pm

     
  3. Zerho says:

    I’ve tasted the kuhol specialty from pangasinan and it was’nt that bad once you think they’re just fresh water shellfish ;)

    Apr 25, 2014 | 9:13 pm

     
  4. Corrine says:

    ewwww…I really dislike snails. I just got rid of abt 8 pcs of them from the garden and threw them put in a vacant lot full of dried branches.

    Apr 25, 2014 | 10:24 pm

     
  5. Footloose says:

    The snails I remember we called susong Hapon and was so called because they were stragglers of the Japanese Army which brought them to our area as backup ration. They spread quickly and became the scourge of gardeners leaving devastation and a translucent iridescent tracks in their wake. We tried eradicating them by sprinkling salt on their exposed parts which reduced them to mucous puddles.

    Sometimes they fight back. A fairly large one crawled up our dish drain one day and hid under a pot cover which my sister casually picked up and without inspecting underneath topped the pot of sinigang she was cooking. We fell back on a quick carne norte hash that lunch time.

    Apr 25, 2014 | 10:27 pm

     
  6. Mart says:

    Much like dandelion weeds, some people eat them, others wouldn’t even consider them to be an option. I imagined that most older generation Filipinos would not be averse to trying it though with previous history of “foraging” for daily meals (think talbos ng kamote, kangkong).

    I’m afraid most form of foragable foods are out of trend with the younger generation, much like how some of the “middle class” Filipino kids now think “shato” or “tumbang preso” as funny sounding words.

    Apr 25, 2014 | 11:32 pm

     
  7. Lee says:

    @Footloose. I heard the same story back home about snails brought by Japanese soldiers for food and after the war the snails just multiplied because no one ate them. I also remember the cruelty of my younger days when summer fun almost always included sprinkling salt on snails and burning ants with a magnifying lens.
    I might eat snails if cooked adobo style and fried to a crisp which I think is the “safe” way to cook frogs, insects, larvae, etc.

    Apr 26, 2014 | 11:11 am

     
  8. siopao says:

    These are edible as long as you purge them first by feeding them something you know is clean like kangkong or carrots… when their poop turns green (kangkong) or orange (carrots) they have been purged of whatever they’ve eaten in your garden.

    Apr 26, 2014 | 12:19 pm

     
  9. Footloose says:

    Jeffrey Steingarten in The Man Who Ate Everything wondered why a paella recipe he was following called for either snails or rosemary, an improbable substitution he had ever encountered. Turned out the snails fed on rosemary.

    @Lee Acquired taste is tolerance for certain food items that we learn when still young and minds are still too malleable to resist. In my case, this was further reinforced with the threat that “gaba” will be visited upon you if you ever refused or wasted food. Fortunately, you can outgrow them like I did balut and stuffed whole frog.

    Apr 26, 2014 | 6:50 pm

     
  10. ami says:

    One general rule in the animal kingdom is that the more brightly colored they are, the more likely that they are poisonous. However since you don’t know where the snail has been or what it’s been feeding on it’s better to leave it be.

    Apr 28, 2014 | 11:02 am

     
  11. SC says:

    Foraging for snails doesn’t seem to be a good idea, especially since there are quite a lot of areas in the Philippines that are considered endemic for Schistosomiasis, and freshwater (infected) snails are considered to be “good” carriers of the parasitic worm. I’m not sure if the worms are killed when the snail is cooked, but it’s better to err on the side of caution.

    Apr 28, 2014 | 3:17 pm

     
  12. chefgusteau says:

    Usually gisa lang yan at me luya just cook it well then patis, coconut milk at greens sa hule. You can even add some heat with it and it will be all worth it.

    Apr 28, 2014 | 5:16 pm

     
 

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