Jan Roubal

Short story from data collection trip

One of the most interesting stories from my trip to Ghana, where I went to collect data for my diploma thesis was “experiencing” local delicacy – snail soup. There are several species of snails occurring in Ghana and one of those is Achatina achatina. This snail is the biggest land snail species in the world. It can measure up to 30 cm and weight up to 900 g. These snails are collected during rainy period in forests, crop lands or fields and then brought to big cities like Accra or Kumasi, where they are sold on local markets. As I am familiar with eating “our” European snails I was eager to try also this local delicacy everybody was talking about. But the problem was, that Ghanaians do not bother themselves with removing intestines and other nonedible parts of snails when they serve them. In Europe snails are also not cleaned off their inner content, but since European snails weigh some 20 grams, it is quite easy to overlook those not that much attractive parts of snail body. However Ghanaian tiger snails are big and possess relatively large intestines especially bowel so it was quite surprising and not that pleasant to experience soup bowl with whole boiled snails in front of me. But you cannot offend your host!

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