Man and Mollusc's Data Base of Edible Molluscs
Others Comments

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Somsak Panha
Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok


Thank you for your communication, it 's almost my time to leave bangkok to Singapore for attending an conference. I will be back around Tuesday next week. I have a lot of information on edible molluscs of our region which I am please to contribute. Come back to cmmunicate you again.


Returns Dec 9th

William H. Heard, retired, at

not heard from as yet

Alejandro Martínez García



Monodonta edulis
Monodonta lineata
Littorina littorea
Patella candei
Bolinus brandaris
Hexaplex trunculus
Galeodora tyrrhena
Charonia lampas
Nassarius mutabilis
Haliotis coccinea canariensis
Haliotis lamellosa


Mytilus galloprovincialis
Pecten maximus
Venurrupsis senegalensis
Dosinia exoleta

Provisional list of the edible mollusc in Spain
(I will increase it soon)

· Galeodora tyrrhena. (S Spain). It's called "Caracola", but I'm not sure, and It's prepared in the same way than Hexaplex trunculus and Bolinus brandaris.

· Charonia lampas. (S Spain). I think it's called "Caracola" too, but I don't know how it is eaten… I will look for it!. But I know that it's shells were used by the Guanches (the people who lived in the Canary Islands before Spanish men arrived), used them like a trumpet.

· Haliotis coccinea canariensis. (Canary Islands). It's called "Oreja de mar" or "Almeja canaria". I couldn't find how it's exactly prepared... but I'm still searching.

· Littorina littorea. (Galicia, NW Spain). It's called "Caramuxo" o "mincha". It's boiled with the shell with salt and laurel. I love them!. I Galicia, fishermen catch this species when the sea is in very bad condition and they can't to sail out of the harbour.

· Bolinus brandaris. (South Spain). It's called "Canadilla". As far as I know, the soft parts are cut into pieces and are boiled, but I'm not sure… I will confirm it. It's a typical snack in the bars of Andalucia.
· Hexaplex trunculus. (South Spain). It's called "Canadilla". It's eaten in the same way than B. brandaris.

· Nassarius mutabilis. (Italy). I have listen that people it them in Italy, but I don't know anything more.

· Patella candei. (Canary Islands). It's called "lapa". It can be eaten in many ways, from raw with lemon to cooked with sauce.


· Monodonta edulis. It's eaten in the Canary Islands, were it's called "Burgado". They put it into vinegar without the shell and leave it some days before eaten.
· Monodonta lineata. In Galicia (NW Spain), it's called "Caramuxo" o "Mincha". For eat it, you only should boil them with salt and a some leaves of laurel.

· Helix aspersa. (Spain, specially, South and East). It's called "caracol". It's prepared in many ways. I have eat them once, and I like.
· Otala lactea


· Mytilidae
· Mytilus galloprovincialis / M. edulis. (all over the world!, but Galicia it's one of the most important producer). They are called "Mexillón" (In Galician language) or "Mejillón" in Spanish. There are more than a hundred recipes…
· Pectenidae
· Aequipecten opercularis. (Galicia and Spain). Called "Zamburiña" or "Volandeira", it's prepared in the same way than Chlamys varia. It's delicious!
· Chlamys varia. (Galicia and Spain). Called "Zamburiña" or "Volandeira". There are a lot of recipes, very hard to be explained. It's delicious!
· Pecten maximus. (Spain). They are called "Vieira". My favourite way of eating them it's prepared in the oven with its shells, putting into them onions and some streaking bread. I love them!

Other families.
· Anomia ephippium. (Galicia). It's called "Ostra brava". I don't know how to prepare eat...
· Callista chione. (at least, Spain). Called "Almeja manchada". It's prepared like Spisula species.
· Cerastoderma edule. (all over the world). It's called "berberecho". It's prepared in many ways.
· Dosinia exoleta. (Galicia). It's called "Ameixa de can" (it means dog's clam). I don't know how to prepare it.
· Laevicardium crassum. (Galicia). It's called "capellán", "cunchelo" and "rabioso". It's used instead of Spisula solida as a preserved food.
· Ostrea edulis. (all over the world). It's called "ostra". It's eating raw and alive with lemon.
· Paphia aurea. (Galicia, as far as I know). Called "Almeja babosa" and prepared like Spisula species.
· Spisula solida / S. elliptica. (many places). Called "almeja blanca". It's prepared in many ways
· Ensis siliqua / Ensis arcuatus / Solen marginatus. (Spain). Called "navaja" or "longueirón". I don't know how they are prepared.
· Tapes decussates. (at least, Galicia). Called "Almeja fina". Prepared in the same way than Spisula species and Callista chione.
· Venurrupsis senegalensis. (Spain). Called "Almeja" or "Almeja babosa". It's the most expensive and the most appreciated clam. It's prepared in my ways and are delicious.

· Sepia officinalis. (Spain). Called "sepia", "jibia", "choco"… Fried with "papas arrugadas" (potatoes boiled with many salt and with "skin") it's a typical plate from the Canary Islands. (Very good!)
· Sepia elegans. (Spain). Called "choquito". It's rolled in flour and fried: I love them.
· Sepia orbignyana. (Spain). Called "choquito". It's rolled in flour and fried. I love them, too.
· Loligo vulgaris. (Spain). Called "Calamar". It's prepared in many ways.
· Alloteuthis media. (Spain). Called "Calamar". It's prepared in many ways
· Alloteuthis subulata (Spain). Called "Calamar". Many recipes.
· Todarodes sagittatus. (Spain). Called "calamar" or "potarro".
· Todarodes eblanae. (Spain). Called "pota".

The places where I put that a mollusc it's eaten, it's the places that I know, but it's very possible that there are a lot more.

European Seashells vol I. G. Poppe - Y. Gotto
Guia dos moluscos de Galicia. Emilio Rolán.


Kevin S. Cummings

I'm afraid I don't know of any recipes off hand and I can't say that I remember any papers that deal with freshwater mussels or snails as food. You can check the on-line biblio at: Check the box labeled "Native Americans" and you will get 74 references to the use of mussels by Indians. Included in those papers will certainly be reference to them using mussels as food. I'm afraid I can't point you to a specific paper. You might contact Dr. Paul Parmalee at the McClung Museum U of Tennessee Knoxville. Paul has published many papers on zooarcheology, mussels and Indians. You could post a call on the Unio listserver as well. If you are not on that one I can do it for you.

As for snails I do know of one reference:

Healy, P.F., K. Emery, and L.E. Wright. 1990. Ancient and modern Maya exploitation of the jute snail (Pachychilus). Latin American Antiquity 1(2):170-183.

Kevin S. Cummings
Illinois Natural History Survey
607 E. Peabody Drive
Champaign, IL 61820

Join the Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society Today!


















Al Wentzel Will not be keeping this Possibly, just info to look into

In a short article in the Spring 2001 " Times Of the Islands" magazine
of the Turks and Caicos- a television documentary entitled "Conch
Cowboys" was described. The subject was filmed in the Florida Keys and
the Turks and Caicos detailing the natural history,conservation and
cultivation of Strombus gigas.
The program aired in July 1999 on
fourteen Florida PBS stations. It also won a "Telly" award . Does anyone
have a tape of this program or can contact your Central Florida PBS
station to find if tapes are available.

Al Wentzel/CenPenn Beachcombers
117 Spring Farm Circle
Carlisle Pa 17013

Not contacted as yet

As for edible mollusks, I have been pretty much concentrating on nerites the last few years, so will answer for these little intertidal guys.

It seems many of the intertidal mollusks that were large enough have been and in many places are still items on the dinner menu. This includes both nerites and periwinkles (Littorina). So it would probably be a safe bet that most any nerite that grows to at least 25mm has been cooked and eaten.

This certainly includes Nerita adenensis, N. chamaeleon, and N. oryzarum in India; Nerita articulata and N. undata in aboriginal Australia; and Neriena punctulata from the Caribbean (eaten in Jamaica). There are undoubtedly many others (like the common periwinkles of Europe and the large Nerita peloronta and N. versicolor of the Caribbean -- but for these I have only supposition). The others I listed I have at least heard or read about.


Not contacted as yet


  • N. adenensis
  • N. chamaeleon
  • N. oryzarum (India)
  • articulata and N. undata (aboriginal Australia)
  • Neriena punctulata
  • from the Caribbean (eaten in Jamaica)

Arthur E. Bogan, Ph.D.
Curator of Aquatic Invertebrates
North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences
Research Laboratory
4301 Reedy Creek Road
Raleigh, NC 27607

Tel. (919) 733-7450 ext 753
Fax (919) 715-2294

















Please find listed below my observations from two trips to China and the freshwater mollusks I have seen in the markets or have eaten.

I have seen Corbicula [Corbiculidae]for sale in the markets in Shanghai, China, and in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, China. In Jiangxi Proince they are sold in markets and venders in the market also sell them in soups or what appears to be steamed with spices. They taste pretty good. I have seen the local fisherman collecting Corbicula from Lake Tai Hu just west of Shanghai, to sell to Japan and Korea. They are bagged in what appears to be 50 pound bags.

I have eaten freshwater gastropods in Shanghai, China both the large mystry snails, Cipangopaludina and the so called mud snails, Bellamya both in the family Viviparidae. The mystry snails were served in a wine sauce and were quite good the mud snails were not so good.

The Unionidae I have seen in the markets in Shanghai and Nanchang are Hyriopsis cumingii, Cristaria plicata and Anodonta woodiana. I was told that Lamprotula leai is also sold but was not seen in the markets while I was there. I have seen people buying these animals for food but have never eaten them and my friends have told me they do not taste good but still no recipes on how to fix them.

I hope these few tidbits are of use. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to email me. Best wishes for the holidays.






















Hi Avril,
Feel free to use anything of mine from Conch-L.

I never got back to you on your request for information on this topic.
Mostly because there is so much that could be said, I'm not sure where to

In the USA, it is mostly a dozen or so bivalve species that are consumed, with some gastropod and cephalopod use, primarily by certain ethnic groups. Locally, "snail salad" or "scungilli", made from thinly sliced foot of Busycon, is a common appetizer in Italian restaurants. In Italy, they must make it from something else, since there are no Busycon there. But when you look worldwide, many different kinds of commercial fisheries can be found, for many kinds of molluscs - muricids, buccinids, volutes, tritons, many kinds of scallops, clams, cockles, mussels, and oysters; squid, octopus, just about anything that is (1) large enough to provide a substantial amount of "meat"; (2) abundant enough to support a fishery; and (3) accessible to the local people. This last requirement restricts many undeveloped areas to intertidal and shallow water species. But even species which cannot support a commercial fishery are harvested locally for food - limpets, chitons, and many other intertidal forms.

Even brachiopods are eaten in some places, as was recently revealed on Conch-L. YECCHH! A collector in Hong Kong once wrote me that there isn't a mollusk that can be collected on his local beaches because at low tide the locals "swarm" (his term, not mine) down onto the beach and grab every living thing in sight, take them home, and throw them all into one pot to make a soup or stew. So there probably isn't a type of intertidal mollusk that isn't used as food by some people, somewhere. The deep water forms of course will not often appear as food items unless they meet all three of the above requirements.

If you have access to the book "Kingdom of the Seashell", it has some good
material on mollusks as food. If you don't have it, I could xerox the
appropriate articles for you - or maybe scan and email them.

I'll have your shells off to you soon. The delay is because I had to clean
a couple of the corals, and once you soak a coral it takes a few days to dry



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