MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Giant African Land Snail has become an issue in South Florida leading to snail-sniffing dogs and teams of people trying to capture the invasive species.
They were discovered in 2011 and since then, thousands have been removed from South Florida.
Now, there may be another way for people to help reduce the snail population according to experts with the Smithsonian – dinner.
According to the Smithsonian, there are recipes to eat the odd creatures.
They call for first washing them thoroughly with alum and lemon juice to remove their mucus slime followed by long boiling to get through the tough and chewy meat. Then, the experts said to crack open their shells with a hammer, cut off the gut, wash, boil and season.
Eating the snails comes with a major warning. They must be fully cooked, Ellen Strong, the curator of mollusks at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.
That’s because African giant snails carry a parasitic nematode that can be a vector for meningitis in humans, the Smithsonian reported. The snail acts as an intermediate host between the parasite and its natural final host in rodents.
Although Strong told the Smithsonian, she has not eaten one.
The snail is considered the world’s most destructive invasive species and just recently, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents at the Los Angeles Airport stopped thirty-five pounds of the snails from being brought into the U.S. from Nigeria.
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