Mountain snails are a specialty of Hoa Binh province during the rainy season. Photo taken in Ren hamlet, Gia Mo commune, Tan Lac district.
Previously, local residents diversified their meals with mountain snails. However, more than 10 years ago, for their unique favour, the snails have been known as a specialty searched by traders.
The mollusk can be found from April to October each year, mainly in remote communes located along Truong Son mountain range in Tan Lac and Lac Son districts.
Bui Thi Khuy, a resident in Ren hamlet, Gia Mo commune, Tan Lac district, has spent nearly 30 years catching mountain snails. The 50-year-old woman said when she was small, her mother took her along to catch snails, and that the ideal time for mountain snail catching is the rainy season.
Khuy and other local residents have considered snail catching a major source of income as their price increases from around 20,000 VND in the past to 90,000 VND per kilogramme this year.
They often travel in jungles for several hours every night to get some 5-7kg of snails.
Bui Van Tuan, a trader from Lac Son district, said mountain snails are sold to tourist sites in Mai Chau district and neighbouring provinces, saying Hoa Binh’s mountain snails are said to be tastier than those from other localities.
In Lac tourism village of Mai Chau district, mountain snails have been made into different dishes favoured by holidaymakers.
Although the seasonal job gives local residents high income, it has potential risks, as snail catchers can easily meet accidents. /.