Giant African Land Snail is one of the largest terrestrial gastropods. Achatina fulica is a species of large land snail that belongs in the family Achatinidae.
It is also known as the African giant snail or giant African snail or giant African land snail.
Snails have been in existence ever since the Roman era
Snails are the largest Mollusk subgroup containing 10,000 species and 400 living families.
Globally they are distributed in every habitat, underwater, and on land.
The meat of snail is considered to be high-quality food packed with protein and is also a great source of iron.
It contains 15% protein, 80% water, and 2.4% fat which makes it an alternative food for people requiring a high protein low-fat diet.
Snail is rich in essential fatty acids such as linolenic acids and linoleic acids
It also contains the amino acids arginine and lysine at higher levels than in whole the egg.
12 Interesting Facts about Snails
- Snails are gastropod mollusks; members of the phylum Mollusca and the class Gastropoda.
- They can live in the water, in the desert, and in numerous other habitats.
- When they feel threatened, they usually retreat into their shells to protect themselves.
- Land snail is the common name for terrestrial gastropod mollusks that have shells (those without shells are known as slugs).
- Types of Land Snails
- The largest land snail is the Achatina, the Giant African Snail.
- Snails have no backbone. Some land snails feed on other terrestrial snails
- The mucus of the garden snail is useful in treating wrinkles, spots, and scars on the skin.
- Most snail species are hermaphrodites, so they have both male and female reproductive organs.
- Snails do not change shells when they grow up.” Instead, the shell grows along with them.
- Land snails do not chew their food. They scrap it.
- Snail diets: the herbivorous snails devour a wide variety of live plant parts: leaves, stems, plant crops, bark, and fruits.
- Uncooked snail meat contains rat lung worms that can cause numbness, spasms, and headaches.
- It may also cause meningitis and schistosomiasis.
- Avoid snail meat from unreliable sources and wash thoroughly before using it.
Giant African Land Snails: How to Make Nigerian Snail Stew
Giant land snail is always served as a finger food — much like the way you eat boneless chicken wings at a bar.
The meat is low in fat and cholesterol and is relatively easy to cook once you clean it.
It is very important to know how to prepare snails for eating.
The following are very effective in washing out the slime from snails:
- Firstly Salt – Simply pour lots of salt into a bowl of shelled snails & rub the salt till the slime is gone.
- Secondly, Garri works the same way as salt. Pour lots of Garri grains on a bowl and rub till is not slippery.
- Then, lemon and lime
- Lastly, Alum is the most effective of all the items that can remove snail slime. It gives the snails a squeaky clean.
Snail Recipe: How to Cook Spicy Nigerian Snail Stew
Snail sauce is a great food especially for those avoiding red meat, for weight loss, diabetics patients etc.
You can prepare snails in many ways, not just peppered snails, snail kebab or snail soup/stew/sauce but other Nigerian/African snail dishes.
- 6 Large land snail
- Seasoning cube
- Firstly, place cleaned snails into a pot of lightly salted water. Cover and leave snails to boil and harden for an hour.
- After that, remove from water.
- Then, in a separate pot, pan-fry onions, peppers, and tomatoes, adding enough water to create a spicy stew. Season the way you like.
- Fourthly, add snails and cook until snails are tender.
- Finally, serve with rice, or pounded yam or as a light meal.
How/where to Buy Snails in Nigeria
You can buy snail in any Nigeria local markets in different sizes-small, large, extra-large and medium.