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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
H. Heard, retired, at
not heard from as yet
Alejandro Martínez García
of the edible mollusc in Spain
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: http://ellipse.inhs.uiuc.edu/mollusk/biblio.html. 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
Kevin S. Cummings
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"
|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.
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.
Tel. (919) 733-7450
Please find listed
below my observations from two trips to China and the freshwater mollusks
I have seen in the markets or have eaten.
Feel free to use anything of mine from Conch-L.
I never got back
to you on your request for information on this topic.
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
I'll have your
shells off to you soon. The delay is because I had to clean
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December , 2001
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