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Helix aspersa, also known as the "Brown Garden Snail," is a species of snail that is native to the Mediterranean region and Western Europe. They are a common pest in gardens, where they feed on a wide range of plants and crops.
In some countries, such as France, Spain, and Portugal, Helix aspersa snails are considered a delicacy and are used in a variety of culinary dishes, usually cooked in garlic, herbs, and wine. The snails are usually purged, which involves depriving them of food for several days before cooking to ensure that they are free of any harmful parasites.
They have a brownish-grey shell with light-brown and yellow stripes. They are small to medium-sized snails, with a shell size of around 30-40 mm in diameter. They are hermaphrodites, which means that they have both male and female reproductive organs, and they can lay up to 80 eggs per year.
Aside from their culinary uses, Helix aspersa snails have also been used for scientific research and medical purposes. For example, their slime has been found to contain a number of important bioactive compounds, including glycoproteins, hyaluronic acid, and antimicrobial peptides, that have potential applications in cosmetics and medical products.