Mating of garden snails occurs in the early spring, after emergence from hibernation. Sometimes the second peak of sexual activity of these mollusks is observed in the beginning of autumn. Numerous observations of snails allowed to describe their behavior in the search for partners and the very process of fertilization itself. So much attention to these mollusks scientists do not give in vain, the fact is that snails are hermaphrodites, that is, one individual is both a man and a woman. Finding a partner for pairing can be immediately determined by the behavior of the snail - it creeps, often stopping and lifting the front part of the body, as looking for someone. If she is lucky, and she meets another snail, then they embark on a "love game" preceding the act of fertilization. The ritual of courtship is very interesting - both snails stretch out, touch the soles and feel each other with mouth blades and tentacles. After such peculiar kisses, snails are stuck into each other in the body with "love arrows" - sharp known formations up to 1 centimeter long, after which spermatophores exchange. In this case, each snail performs the role of both females and males. After fertilization, the snails sprawl in different directions. Under favorable conditions, such "romantic encounters" can occur several times a month. Even after a single fertilization, the snail can store spermatophores for one year.
Fertilized snail eggs, covered with a protective shell contain a supply of nutrients for the full development of the embryo. The snail digs a hole in the wet ground, lays several dozen eggs measuring 4-7 millimeters and covers them after the end of the laying. For devising of such a nest, the snail takes almost 20 hours of continuous work. Depending on the temperature of the soil, after 3-4 weeks tiny snails appear from the eggs which are small copies of adults.
People have paid attention and tasted garden snails for a long time. In ancient Greece land snails were quite common, and even the poorest and most ordinary people could eat them. For Roman legionnaires in their long march snails were kind of natural canned food and affordable healthy food. Monks in the Middle Ages bred these mollusks on vegetable beds to replenish and diversify the meager diet during fasting. Snails have got even to Africa and to the Antilles islands with people; the European colonizers brought with themselves favorite delicacies. Meat snails are not so beloved by many peoples. It contains 70% protein (which is one third more than in chicken eggs), 20% amino acids and 10% fat. Also there are trace elements and vitamins in the snail meat in such quantities that in many countries the pharmaceutical industry uses it as raw material for the production of medicines. Another advantage of this meat is that it does not contain cholesterol, so a snail diet with snail's meat is recommended for patients with obesity, liver diseases and atherosclerosis. The ancient Greeks knew about that for a long time, and modern studies have confirmed that the meat of snails as a powerful aphrodisiac, and the enzyme responsible for this can simultaneously enhance both the female libido and the male potency. Special success in the preparation of dishes from snail's meat was achieved by famous gourmets - the French. A lot of dishes from snails can be found in the menu of French restaurants called escargot. Snails with garlic sauce, snails Burgundy, and snail oil - these and many other recipes using snail's meat have become classics of French cuisine. Especially recommended to use the snail's meat for all violations of the balance of calcium in the body - pregnant women, nursing mothers, patients with diseases of bone and cartilage tissue.
The Escargot (plural - escargots) is a very popular French food cuisine cooked with land snails. Escargots are usually served as a starter in Portugal, Spain and in France, and are a typical dish in the Catalan region of Spain. The word "Escargot" is also applied sometimes to the living snails of those species which are commonly eaten in this way. Escargot, meaning "edible snail", seems to date from 1892 and derives from the word escaragol (Provençal) and thence escargol (Old French). But not all species of the land snails are edible, and many of them are very small to make it worth to prepare and cook. Even among the edible species, the palatability of the flesh varies from species to species. In Europe (France), the species Helix Pomatia (brown garden snail) is most popular and often eaten. The "petit-gris" Cornu aspersa is also eaten, as the Helix lucorum. Several additional species, such as Elona quimperiana, are popular in Europe. Apple snails (Pila Polita) are also consumed in Asia and can be found in Asian markets in North America. If you would like to try snail eating, you need to buy live land large snails Helix Pomatia (or any other species of snails) and via Google search you can find a lot of escargot recipes and how to cook the Escargot dish.