FOOD NEWS

CONGO MEAT: ILLEGALLY IMPORTED FROM NIGERIA, SEIZED IN  US

 

Banned: The animals are prohibited in the U.S. because they can carry parasites that are harmful to humans. They a perfectly legal to sell in much of the rest of the world, however, including Britain

Sixty seven living snails were reportedly discovered inside a passenger’s luggage at the airport and guess what?

These Molluscs were banned in the U.S. for carrying parasites harmful to humans. They are legal in most of the world – and even a delicacy in West Africa, especially Nigeria. 

 

After being inspected by federal agents the snails were killed by incineration.

Inspectors at the  Los Angeles International Airport were said to have seized the unusually slimy package – 67 giant African land snails that are a popular delicacy across West Africa after  being sent to a person in San Dimas, California.

Spokeswoman for the U.S. Customs and Border protection Lee Harty made this known.  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article

The snails were confiscated earlier this month and a sample was later sent to a federal mollusc specialist in Washington, D.C., who has now identified them as a prohibited species.
The molluscs are among the largest land snails in the world and can grow to be up to 8 inches long. They are native to Africa and can live for up to 10 years.
 Harty said The U.S. Department of Agriculture incinerated the snails after they were inspected. She added that  ‘These snails are seriously harmful to local plants because they will eat any kind of crop they can get to.
The person the snails were destined for is not expected to face any punishment as it is always difficult to prove that a person has ordered or requested items that are sent to them.
 
 … fried snail a delight in Nigeria.

It is also very rare for a criminal case to be pursued if there is little evidence of professional smuggling and the culprit claims not to know that the legal status of the prohibited items.
The authorities are launching a formal investigation into the incident, however, if only to establish why such a large batch of snails was sent to a single person.
She stressed that when someone doesn’t know a commodity is prohibited under USDA regulations, there is usually no punishment,’
 Although the agency has previously found one or two giant African land snails that gave accidentally crawled into a passenger’s luggage, this is the largest batch ever confiscated at LAX airport.
 The animals are prohibited in the U.S. because they can carry parasites that are harmful to humans, including one that can lead to meningitis.
They are perfectly legal to sell in much of the rest of the world, including Britain.
 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article
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HOW LAND SNAILS ARE COOKED AND EATEN IN WEST AFRICA

Giant African land snails are considered a delicacy in much of West Africa.
The are particularly enjoyed in Nigeria, from where the LAX package was sent.
The snails are commonly served as finger food in Nigeria, but need to be thoroughly washed to ensure all parasites are killed.
They are typically removed from their shell and cut in half to kill them, before being washed in a mixture of salt, lemon and alum gum – which removes the slime.
The snails are placed into a pot and brought to the boil, then left to simmer for an hour to tenderise the meat.

 Image result for PICTURES OF SNAIL AND CONGO MEAT

While this takes place, a separate pot is used to pan-fry onions, peppers and tomatoes, with enough water added to create a kind of vegetable stew.
The tender snails are then added to the stew along with salt for seasoning, and the whole mixture is then cooked for another 20-30 minutes.
The low-calorie, low-cholesterol dish is then typically served with rice and eaten by scooping up small amounts in the hand.
 

 

CONGO MEAT : SNAIL RECIPES
HOW BLACK IS THIS MEAT?
One man’s food is another man’s poison. This is a general slogan that tends to drive home the message about mollusks, which are replete in the market and have even become a luxury today.
To some it is a taboo, especially because of its slimy nature, but to others, it is an enjoyable culinary delicacy.
Snail, order wise known as black meat or Congo meat, is a soft muscular creature embodied in an alluring shell, whose meat is rich in protein, iron and calcium. The shell as a zinc repository is said to be good for weight loss.
Botanically known as Achatina magnata, snail is believed to tone the nerves, lower the blood pressure, normalize temperature, aid recovery from stroke and prevent vascular diseases.
However, in preparing snail, care must be taken, as it must be thoroughly washed with alum, lime or lemon, these help to purge the meat of parasites and also clean every slime embodied in it.
 There are different kinds of snails. These include the water snails, limpets, peri-winkles, otherwise known as isam and land snails, to mention just a few, although the most common in the market is the land snail.
All over the world, this black meat is a delight –the French know this meat as ESCARGOT, Australians call it ABALONE, while many parts of Africa simply tag it CONGO meat.
To enjoy snails, purchase the ones that are still alive, leave them for some days before preparing them. Below are some Congo delightful delicacies for your relish!
Snail stew
 
Recipe for 4 servings:
10 large snails
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
2 medium size onions (chopped)
5 tomatoes (chopped)
3 green pepper (chopped)
Maggi and salt to taste.
Method:
Clean the snails thoroughly with either alum or lime. Cut the muscles into large chunks. Sautee the garlic in the oil with the chunked snails for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt, magi, pepper and onion. Add a little water, cover and simmer the snails until tender. Add the green pepper. Cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat and serve with rice or boiled yam.
Snail and plantain peppersoup
  This is an ijaw delicacy known as osi igbinibeni.
Recipe for 2 servings:
12 medium snails
1 teaspoon dry red pepper
½ teaspoon potash
Maggi and salt to taste.
 
Method:
Clean the snails and peel the plantains, cutting them into small pieces. Put the snails and plantain in a pot. Add salt, pepper and potash, cover and bring to boil. When the plantain is tender and the snails are cooked, remove from heat and take as normal pepper soup. Or separate both and extract with fork while taking the plantain and pepper soup.
Fried snails in spicy sauce
 
Recipe for 4 servings:
8 large snails (dressed)
1 medium size onion (sliced)
5 large tomatoes (ground)
1 teaspoon of dry pepper
Magi and salt to taste
2 cooking spoons vegetable oil
Method:
Boil the snails, adding half of the sliced onion. Heat the oil in a pot until it smokes. Add the onion, tomatoes, pepper and salt. Fry for 10 minutes, add the boiled snail and fry for another 10 minutes. When ready, it can be served with any carbohydrate main dish.

Snail and green plantain pottage.
 
Recipe for 4 servings:
12 small snails (dressed)
4 green unripe plantains (chopped)
1 teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon potash
3 tablespoon palm oil
Method
Clean the snails with a brush. Peel the plantain and cut each into pieces. Bring the plantain and snail to boil, adding a little water. Add the palm oil, salt, pepper, potash and maggi. When the plantain and snails are tender, remove the snails, separate the shell from the flesh and cut away any part you consider inedible. Return the edible portion to the pot and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir the plantain until it thickens. Serve hot like any other pottage. 
Fried snails
 
Recipe for 4 servings:
6 large snails
1 teaspoon dry pepper
Salt to taste
Method
Dress the snails, wash thoroughly with lime and parboil for 3 minutes. Sprinkle some pepper and salt on them and deep fry in oil until crisp on the edges. Drain and cut into bite-sized pieces.
Serve as dessert.
 
Breaded snail
Recipe for 10 servings:
1 egg
1 cup water
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup sauce
20 fresh snails
4 cooking spoons vegetable oil
Method
Beat the egg and water well before adding the flour, beating until smooth. Cover and set aside for at least 1 hour. Heat the sauce pan and add some tablespoons of the oil to the pan, including the sauce and snails. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes or until the mixture thickens; remove from heat and set aside. Heat the remaining oil and fry the snails in the batter taking 1 snail at a time from sauce, allowing some sauce to cling. Place in batter to coat, then deep fry until golden brown. Remove and pat dry and dip into other bowl of batter; repeat frying. Drain and serve.
 SNAIL SALAD
Recipe for three servings:
10 apple snails
4 cups water
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
Teaspoon salt
1 onion, sliced thin
1 large banana blossom,
(Sliced thin, soaked in water and drained)
1 cup chopped fresh herbs; mint, sweet basil, and cilantro
2 hot chili pepper,
Chopped (optional)
In a small pot, boil snails with 4 cups water till snails are tender. Pour cooked snail into colander, drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside. In a small bowl, mix lime juice with sugar, fish sauce and salt. Mix well. Add slices of onion with lime juice. Stir well and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix banana blossom with snails meat, herbs and prepared lime juice. Mix well. Top with chopped chili pepper before serving. Serve with ginger dipping sauce.
 
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