Snail eating is not a recent occurrence but has been taking place for centuries. Recent excavations have proved that snail eating has been taking place for 30000 years. The Paleolithic humans who inhabited the east coast of Spain started eating snails long before other communities in the Mediterranean started including snails in their diet.
Archaeologists who were digging a possible artifact-rich site on Spain called Cova de la Barriada, unearthed a large number of snail shells and stone tools in cooking pits which dated back to Gravettian era. It was a European tool building community which stretched from 32000 to 26000 years ago. It proves conclusively that humans have been consuming snails for some 30,000 years.
Dr. Javier Fernández-López de Pablo, a researcher at the Catalan Institute of Human Palaeoecology and Evolution, recently told BBC News, “What this suggests is that these groups [of humans] had already opted for a strategy of diet diversification that allowed them to increase their population,”
The research further gave credence to the theory that humans started experimenting very early on new types of food. Humans also diversified and in the process also diversified their eating habits according to the local conditions. However researchers are still unsure if human populations in the other parts of the Mediterranean coast such as France, Italy, Greece, Middle East and the Africa who did not start eating snails until 10000years later.
Still, researchers are unsure by human populations elsewhere on the Mediterranean coast — in North Africa, France — whom didn’t begin eating snails until 10,000 years later. The Iberus alonensis snail, which was abundant and indigenous to the Iberian Peninsula, was a favorite delicacy to the Romans. The species is a member of Phylum Molluska and the species in this phyla is characterized by soft body inside a shell.