Monday, November 10, 2008

Malacology madness

Our Finca has a snail population of millions, therefore we have a sufficiency  of snails you might say. This is despite the best efforts of the birds who daily seem to devour hundreds of the smaller snails, and those of our neighbours who select the larger and therefore possibly juicier examples of those molluscs,  which they pick from the Fennel plants around our land.

The numbers of the snail population on Finca Carolina remains pretty constant at too many.

Last year Carol performed jury service in the UK, with a French Guy who had entertained his fellow jurors with an explanation of the lengthy process of cleaning snails prior to their cooking. Charming though the Frenchman was, nobody it seems was at all convinced by the snails gourmet  status. And I have to say that for us L'Escargot remains a popular racehorse and snails are off the menu.

This years wonder cosmetics for ladies are being derived from the secreted mucus of the snail. Advertisers claim that their rather expensive products harness the natural healing properties of  'El Caracol', which is able to regrow a damaged shell, to promote healthy human skin. 

A Spanish friend is a snail farmer, and he recently used our lap top to research the market for current prices for his livestock, 'Compra/venta caracol'. He said that until recently the price of snails was not too good but now that the cosmetics industry had taken an interest in snails the prices had rocketed.


Fancy a Facial dear?

Meet Brian, Brian the snail that is. 

He (or Her for they are hermaphrodites) and I met whilst I was cleaning the windows on the first floor of the villa. As I was polishing the inside of the glass he was leaving his snail trails on the outside of the same window. It was whilst contemplating how best to dispatch the pest, I considered the possibility of adding El Caracol to one of Carol's many pots of, lasts years much hyped miracle cosmetics (purely in the interests of science). But having considered that her sense of humour was a little fragile in such matters and that my end might be messier than the snail's; I elected to drop kick Brian the mollusc far into the woods where he may live happily ever after.  As long as he doesn't return I'm happy.

Though if snail prices go up any more I may have to go and find him.

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