African slimy snails invading Florida are fit for human consumption

Lunch time idea could help Florida fight African giant snails invasion

Headline Goes Here FUNKE KUEOSHO

MIAMI - As Florida is fighting its second African snails invasion, experts said the parasitic creatures were fit for human consumption.

The lunch time idea comes from Ellen Strong, curator of mollusks at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.

The taste "depends on how you season them," Strong said.  "Different snail species probably taste slightly different; some are more muscular than others so they will have a different texture."

Before executing any recipe, the snails' mucus slime needs to be washed off with alum and lemon juice. The snails also need to be boiled for a long time so that its meat is chewy.

Strong warns that to avoid meningitis, the voracious pest cannot be eaten raw or undercooked.

Nigerian food blogger Funke Koeosho said the snail meat is very high in protein and its slime is rich in antioxidants.  Koeosho's African Snail Sautér recipe includes salt, oil, onion, thyme, tomatoes, peppers, and scotch bonnet.

After the snail is prepped, Koeosho said the snails need to be steamed with water and a pinch of salt on a pan for about 10 minutes.

After draining them, add all of the ingredients on a frying pan and stir them to a simmer the sauce for about 5 minutes. Then add the snails, and stir them for 5 more minutes.

Koeosho's advise: "Shelling and gutting snails must be done with care as the shells are quite sharp and may cut the skin when cracked."

Nigerian cuisine: Snail stew

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