We read that formerly, in Paris, snails were only to be found in the herbalists' shops, and at the chemists'; but now there are special places for them in the fish markets, by the side of the crayfish and other freshwater fishes; and in nearly all the restaurants you may see dishes of Helix pomatia displayed in the windows. They are ready cooked, and only require warming for a few minutes on the gridiron. It is from Troyes, at the price of five francs the hundred, that the vine snail is sent to Paris, boiled in their shells, and seasoned with fresh butter mixed with parsley, and a very little garlic. When you wish to partake of them, you place them before the fire till the butter melts, and then they are fit to eat. I purchased some, and succeeded in eating two, but with difficulty, as the way they were dressed did not disguise the slimy, soapy taste, and the want of salt and pepper, etc., made them most unpalatable. I felt that I could sympathize with Dr. Black and Dr Hutton, who also endeavoured to eat a dish of stewed snails; but, after vainly attempting to swallow in very small quantities the mess which each internally loathed, "Dr. Black at length 'showed the white feather;' but in a very delicate manner, as if to sound the opinion of his messmate, 'Doctor,' he said, in his precise and quiet manner, 'Doctor, do you not think that they taste a little - a very little - green?' Green! green, indeed! Take them awa'! take them awa'!' vociferated Dr. Hutton, starting from the table and giving full vent to his feelings of abhorrence". *

In Paris, snails are not considered in season till the first frost, about the end of October, or beginning of November, when they are closed with their white epiphragm. The Parisians eat about fifteen or twenty for breakfast, and they are also said to give a better flavour to wine.

* 'Curiosities of Food,' p. 348.

In Spain, also, all snails are eaten, unless they are too small to cook; and they are called Caraeola, and the men who gather and sell them are called Caraco-leros. However, they apply the term Caraeola, to all snail-like shells, only distinguishing them thus, Cam-cola del mar, Caraeola del rio, Caraeola del huerta, i.e. salt, freshwater, or garden caracoles.

Rossmässler mentions having seen fourteen different species of Helicidce brought to the markets in Murcia and Valencia, and sold to be eaten. He adds that snails are not only food for the poor, for that many kinds are too costly. One species, called Serrano*, is sold for a penny each of our English money; but they are not half that price bought by the dozen. They cook them by stewing them, shells and all, in a richly-spiced sauce, and then put the shell to the mouth, and draw out the animal by sipping or sucking it.

Rossmässler states, for the benefit of those who may travel in Spain for scientific purposes, that to collect plants it is useless to visit the north of Spain before the middle of April, and the south before the end of March. For insects and shells, the end of the summer, and, above all, the autumn is the best time of the year.

The snail-hunters, who daily supply the markets with large baskets of snails, often have to traverse great tracts of hilly country, and are obliged to go out very early in the morning, before sunrise, in search of these creatures, as they are then to be found in more abundance. Much amusement was afforded to the Spaniards by Rossmässler throwing away the delicate animal, and only retaining its shell, which to them was worthless, but most valuable to him as a conchologist. Upon one occasion, on arriving at a posada, he found the hotel people sitting down to their midday meal, before a great dish of snails. He says: - "One look satisfied me that they were of a rare kind, for which I had sought in vain, and I immediately seized upon some of the empty shells, which caused a universal laugh. I did not care at all for this, but I had actually to pay a real (about 2s. 4d). for the empty shells, which, when living, I could have got for nothing". This was thoroughly Spanish.

Dr. W. Gottlob Rosenhauer, in his 'Die Thiere Andalusiens,' says that Helix lactea, which is very abundant, and readily found close to stones, amongst grass, near Malaga, and San Fernando, is brought in great numbers to the markets in Andalusia, and that the empty shells may be seen there all about the streets. Both Helix aspersa and Helix lactea are used abundantly for food, but the latter tastes better, and is more delicate. They are generally cooked in rice, with butter or some other greasy substance, and held in a napkin whilst the animal is picked out with a pin; or sometimes the mouth (or head) is first cut off, and the animal is then drawn out by suction, a proceeding not very elegant, at least according to our English ideas. Helix lactea may also be classed among the edible snails of France, and is found in the Pyrenees, and also in Corsica.

Dr. Ebrard was informed by Dr. Eoi, the Inspector of Colonization in Africa, that in the market at Algiers large heaps of snails are to be seen of the same species as those in Central France, and are sold by the bushel, and by the hundred, as an article of food; and a small species, about the size of a pea, is collected in Algeria in great numbers, and given to the ducks.

At Oran (which is inhabited by a large number of Spaniards), in the European portion of the town, the Hon. Lewis Wingfield mentions coming upon a colony of Spaniards, principally charcoal-burners, living in dwellings hollowed out of the earth on the side of a bank sloping to the sea. The better classes of these extraordinary habitations were surrounded by a rough bamboo paling completely covered with large land snails, which are eaten by the poor people. There were also heaps of them lying in the sun to dry, and great stacks of them, neatly stored away in grass hampers, ready for transmission into the interior.*