There are more than 1 thousand types of snails, living in water and lands. They have different size and can be both, gigantic (up to 30 sm) and small.
It is necessary to remember that there are only two types of edible snails: achatines and helix.
The achatines live in tropical climate, such as Eastern Africa. Nowadays, this type can be found in different countries and are used for different purposes. For example, their slime is actively used in cosmetology and medicine and some people use achatines as pets.
Helix is a large group of snails found in Europe and parts of the Mediterranean region. There are some types of them:
- grape snail (lat. Helix pomatia);
- garden snail (lat. Helix aspersa);
- mountain snail (lat. Helix lucorum).
In addition, there are milk snails (or Spanish) (Otala Lactea), forest (Cepaea nemoralis), variegated (Cepaea hortensis) and other kinds.
There are many dishes, cooked from the snails and each dish has its own taste peculiarities. A wide variety of dishes are prepared from these edible species. An exquisite French delicacy escargot is one of the most popular cuisine masterpieces.
In addition to taste, snails are very dietary, as their meat contains 70% of protein and 30% of amino acids. Its composition is rich in vitamins, elastin, collagen, allantoin and other beneficial substances. Therefore, snails can be consumed by people with gastrointestinal problems, pregnant and breasfeding women.
However, it is necessary to keep in mind that some snails can be dangerous for body. It is highly recommended to learn the rules before cooking them:
- collection in ecologically clean areas;
- thorough cleaning before cooking;
- confidence in belonging to an edible species.
In case you want to prepare snails yourself, be sure to collect them in ecologically clean areas and natural conditions, such as garden, a courtyard of a private house or a forest. It is necessary to make sure that there are no sewage, industrial enterprises.
Remember! Snails can carry bacteria. Therefore, it is necessary to thoroughly clean them prior to cooking, place them in the container and keep on a diet for several days to clean the intestine.
Fortunately, most edible snails may be bought in Ukraine and are brought on special farms.
However, there are poisonous species as well. The most dangerous is geographic cone. It is beautiful with acone shell of an unusual color. This predator strikes the prey with insulin in the form of a poisonous cloud. An animal falls into a hypoglycemic coma due to a sharp increase in blood sugar levels. There were 30 death cases in the world.
Giant Achatines belong to the types of snails, which are are dangerous to humans. They can carry infections, a rare form of meningitis, caused by a pulmonary worm.
Conventional freshwater snails can transmit tropical parasitic disease schistosomiasis. They can get sick after contact with the contaminated water.
There are quite many threatening and poisonous mollusks: an oyster drill, a predatory snail, punk rock, prickly moorx and others. Most of them cannot be found in Ukraine.
However, one must be careful and eat only pure and edible mollusks. It is better to buy them on farms.