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Jul 20, 2009 11:36 PM

How to Eat Shark's Eye / Atlantic Moon Snail / Polinices Duplicatus

I've been finding these attractive, but evidently goonish creatures all over the beach:

A few of the ones I collected today after the tide went out were still alive and kicking. I brought them home and boiled them for a while until they seemed cooked through (envisioning a conch-like appetizer), but wussed out on taking a bite at the last minute, after I pulled one guy out of his shell and discovered a soft, grey, odd-smelling mass at the end (from the innermost part of the shell), which I'm guessing are glands of some sort. I don't think these fellows are poisonous, but thought there might be a reason why I couldn't find any recipes for them at all. My dog also turned up his nose (but then, again, he's picky and doesn't like most shellfish).

So, as always, when my old pal Google gives me no love, I turn to 'Hounds for expert advice: Are Shark's Eye mollusks edible / nutritious / delicious?

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    1. hmmmm...i tried to beat it out of google, but no luck. i did get this page:

      it's a little rough, but gives a pretty good overview for someone totally ignorant (like me) about harvesting one's own molluscs. sounds like a dicey proposition to me without more specific info on the particular shellfish in question. hopefully someone else knows better. from some of the sites I was looking at, it sounds like red tide might also be something to really watch for.

      The above mentioned site does have a listing of edible molluscs and on this page

      in which there is an entry for "Moon Snails". Not sure if it is referring specifically to the Shark's Eye which appears to go by different taxonomic names (Neverita duplicata, for another). It says "Northern Atlantic Moonsnail". If I were you, I think I'd be your devilishly handsome dog instead and follow his obviously exquisite sense of taste.

      3 Replies
      1. re: mothly

        Mothly, you're an amazing researcher. This is a great site (lots of good info, tho a little hard to digest, as you noted). I'll read through it more thoroughly and check with the locals.

        1. re: mothly

          I don't know anything about the edibility of moon snails, but I'll just point out that Polinices duplicatus and Neverita duplicata are the same species. Because of the way the rules of zoological nomenclature respect precedence, it's not uncommon for a species to be renamed when someone finds out that the same taxon was described earlier under a different name. In this case, the genus name Neverita apparently has precedence over the genus Polinices (I'm assuming that to be the case because Polinices was the name we used some 40 years ago when I used to do this sort of thing for a living and it's now Neverita). Another marine edible, the quahog (littleneck or cherrystone when younger), was changed from Venus mercenaria to Mercenaria mercenaria some years back for the same reason, and there are many other examples.

          1. re: FlyFish

            interesting, flyfish -- thank you!!