Daily Archives: July 16, 2011

Let’s eat those Giant African land snails!

“It’s only a matter of marketing”

They are everywhere and they eat everything. They are ugly, slimy and breed prodigiously. Could anybody – even its own mother – view the Giant African Land Snail as beautiful? How about “tasty”?

As a New York Times article on invasive species points out, it’s only a matter of marketing: Answer for Invasive Species: Put It on a Plate and Eat It.

And as a major researcher stated, ‘those countries where the snail has become part of the food chain suffer the least’.

Did we tell Bajans that we had a new species which had already successfully invaded 100+ countries but that this ‘escargot’ provided an excellent high protein food source as well?

No. We said “Don’t even touch them let alone think of eating them. They carry ‘rat lung disease’ which is akin to encephalitis” but we didn’t say that the rat lung ailment is akin to a mild flu and that there were no recorded deaths. We didn’t say that Giant African Land Snails are already being eaten and are rather tasty at that.

We’ll have to give the snails a go one of these weekends and BFP’s Robert says he’ll do the honours of finding and preparation. Robert has eaten all kind of strange things around the world but he hasn’t yet tried Giant African Land Snails.  He raves about fried chinicuiles (agave worms) with Mexican hot sauce so he shouldn’t have too much trouble with a giant plate of escargot heavy on the garlic and butter.

New challenges sometimes require old ways of thinking. If you have too much of anything: find a way to use it, package it attractively and sell it. The snail bait program is obviously a failure, so it’s time to try something else.

Thanks to Lee Bortolotti


Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Environment