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  • Living

Tuam could put the first Irish snails on Irish menus

Wednesday, 26th June, 2019 10:37am

Story by Siobhan Holliman
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Tuam could put the first Irish snails on Irish menus

Steven Ryan at his snail farm outside Tuam. Photo: Ray Ryan

Tuam could put the first Irish snails on Irish menus

Steven Ryan at his snail farm outside Tuam. Photo: Ray Ryan

YOU can learn a lot in a week. Some of it beneficial, some of it useless and other snippets – well they can be quite bizarre. In the past seven days I’ve learned how to distinguish a pregnant snail from one that isn’t.
And, let me add to that, I can even predict what sex the new baby snails will be before they hatch. How? Have I spent a few days embedded with the David Attenborough? Not quite that exotic, but a visit to a snail farm on the outskirts of Tuam has given me the knowledge that most snails are hermaphrodites – they are both male and female. So, as now is when snails get down to business, they can both get pregnant as well as fertilise others.
It’s hoped that Tuam snails will be the first Irish snails to become available to diners in Irish restaurants and it’s all down to the work of a former barber who now exports 400,000 snails a year to Spain, Italy and Portugal.

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