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Tip Of The Day: How To Deshell And Clean Snails With Garri


I learnt how to clean snails about four years ago. I learnt how to do it with Garri. I was living with my aunt at the time. She loves snails like kilode but she usually buys the clean, slime free ones at the market.

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So we just do normal rinsing before using them to cook. One day, my Uncle who used to live in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state came visiting. He brought lots of snails with him. These ones were still in their shells.

My heart sank at the sight of them because I knew that this was work. When he left that evening, my aunt said it was time to deshell and clean them. So, we went to the kitchen and the work began.

If you are reading this article and you don’t know how to do this, you will need the following:

1. A Hammer

2. Garri

3. A Bowl

4. Water

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How To Deshell And Clean A Snails

Pick the snails one at a time then hit the shell with the hammer till it cracks. Use a fork to pry the meat out of the shell. When you have finished extracting the meat from the shell, pull out the entrails with your fingers.

Check the snail and gently remove any shell that may be stuck to the body of the snail as they might hurt you when you start cleaning. Afterwards, drop the snail in a clean bowl.

Repeat these processes with all the snails. When you are done with the last one, gather the shells and dispose of them properly. Pour a generous quantity of garri on the bowl of snails.

Rub the Garri on the snails till the slime are gone. Rinse the snails thoroughly in clean, cold water. Put them in a clean pot and spice them with your seasoning of choice.

That’s how to clean and prepare snails. I know it’s a messy job but since it gives us the delicious snails that we enjoy, you can consider the effort well worth it.

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Obiamaka Angela Udevi

Udevi, Obiamaka Angela holds a Master of Arts degree in History & International Studies. She's a freelance writer with a passion for food and healthy living. She can be contacted through her email address,

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