"According to some sources, the French imported brown garden snails to California in the 1850's, raising them as the delicacy escargot. Other sources claim that Italian immigrants were the first to bring the snail to the U.S.."
"Originally from Italy (the ancient Romans ate them), European brown snails were brought to California by the French in 1850. Guess those gold miners had a taste for escargot."
Helix aspersa-Muller is also known as the French "petit gris," "small grey snail," the "escargot chagrine," or "La Zigrinata." The shell of a mature adult has four to five whorls and measures 30 to 45mm across. It is native to the shores of the Mediterranean and up the coast of Spain and France. It is found on many British Isles, where the Romans introduced it in the first century A.D. (Some references say it dates to the Early Bronze Age.) In the early 1800's the French brought it into California where it has become a serious pest. These snails are now common throughout the U.S. It was introduced into several Eastern and Gulf states even before 1850 and, later introduced into other countries such as South Africa, New Zealand, Mexico, and Argentina.
The edible European Brown Snail or Brown Garden Snail (Helix asperas), is the common garden snail or French "Escargot" which is considered a pest in gardens and yards all over the country, especially in California. Also known in France as the Petit Gris or Vineyard snail, it was probably first brought to the North American continent about 1850. Another edible snail found in some parts of this state is the white Spanish or "milk" snail (Otala lactea), which is preferred by many people of southern European stock.
The edible European Brown Snail or Brown Garden Snail (Helix asperas), is the common garden snail or French "Escargot" which is considered a pest in gardens and yards all over the USA, especially in California. Also known in France as the Petit Gris or Vineyard snail, it was probably first brought to the North American continent about 1850.
Yes, the local common garden snail is the European brown -- Helix aspersa. They were imported here in the early 1850s by a Frenchman who intended to sell them as food, but the market here during the Gold Rush was too unsophisticated for snails. He ended up dumping some snails, and another collection escaped.
The brown garden snail was introduced in this country in San Francisco in the 1850s by a Frenchman who thought he could get people there to eat them. He was wrong, and if they didn't catch on as food in San Francisco, there was surely no hope of them doing so in the rest of the country.
Cantareus aspersus (Muller) (Helicidae) was introduced into California as early as the 1850 (Forbes, 1850). According to Stearns (1900), colonies of this species were intentionally introduced from France into several areas of California between 1850 and 1860. By 1900 C. aspersus was present throughout much of the agricultural area of California and it has been regarded as a pest in citrus since that time (Basinger, 1931).
The brown snail was introduced to California vineyards around 1859 as a food crop. Ironically, it was the wrong variety, and processing stopped because of its poor flavor. These snails were then discarded along the banks of the Santa Clara River in Northern California.