One by one, I took each snail and positioned it so that the opening was flat against the rock. I aimed about two-thirds of the way down the back, and with one firm stroke of my hammer broke through the shell. Then with my pinky, I pushed the snail itself deeply into its shell until part of the soft body came squeezing through the hole I had broken. If I did it right—and I did nearly every time—there, oozing through the hole on the back of the snail’s shell, appeared a yellow gland, about a quarter of an inch long and the width of a piece of spaghetti. With the razor blade and my thumb as a counter force, I sliced off the gland and dropped it into the jar. The broken snail itself I tossed into the ocean.
July 7, 2012