Wading stream to catch stone snails

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QUANG NAM – 6pm every day when it is dark, people in Tien Lanh commune, Tien Phuoc district, again wear flashlights to Da Mai stream to catch stone snails, selling 40,000-50,000 VND/kg.

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They usually go in groups of 2-3 people. “Desolated mountains and forests can be in danger, so many people go to support each other,” explained Mr. Nguyen Hai Luong (left) in Tien Lanh commune.

Tien Phuoc is a mountainous midland district with many streams, rocky rapids, where stone snails live.

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A snail is clinging to a rock eating moss. During the day, rock snails live in burrows or hide in the sand. It was dark, they went out to eat. The snail is about the size of a chopstick, the big one is as big as an index finger and 3-5 cm long. The head is similar to that of a snail, but the tail is longer, elongated, the shell is thick and hard, often shiny black and yellow.

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To catch snails, workers go through many rapids, the movement must be skillful, otherwise they will slip into the cliff or fall. “The profession of catching snails is compared with one’s butt to the sky, face down to the ground,” said Huynh Duc Thanh, 29 years old (brown plaid shirt), talking about the specifics of the job.

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After 5 minutes, Mr. Thanh caught 7 stone snails.

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From 6pm to 11pm, Mr. Luong and two people caught 10 kg of rock snails. This job doesn’t require money, just 100,000 VND to buy a flashlight, but you need to be strong because you have to walk long distances, Mr. Luong said.

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After one night, Mrs. Vo Thi Lien, 50 years old, and two people in Tien Lanh commune caught 13 kg of snails. Her house is on the inter-commune road, so she brings snails to the front door to sell.

“On many days, three people caught more than 60 kg, on a few days a few kg,” she said and said that her job does not give a stable income, on the day the snails go out to eat a lot, the day less. The profession of catching snails stops when it rains, the water is cloudy, the rest is done all year round.

building stone, quang nam, tien phuoc, wading in the stream to catch snails, wading stream to catch stone snails

Stone snails are purchased by traders for 40,000-45,000 VND/kg, wholesale at 50,000 VND/kg, usually consumed locally and in Da Nang city.

Before processing, snails are soaked in water for more than a day to release mud and dirt, then have to rub many times to clean the shell, because moss sticks to it. Before cooking, snails are clicked with their tails to make it easier to suck while eating.

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A bowl of stone snail soup cooked with coriander, a wild vegetable. This is a popular dish in the mountainous region of Quang Nam. Stone snails can process many delicious dishes such as stir-fried lemongrass, lemon leaves; boiled, cooked porridge… Stone snail meat is usually white, softer and sweeter than snail, has a fatty, aromatic and crispy taste, so it is very popular.

Keyword: Wading stream to catch stone snails