The Snail Life
The season of snails and cakes began last month. According to the popular tradition, the snail season takes place during the months without erres, thus beginning in May and ending in August.
The Portuguese are very fond of this snack, consuming 13 thousand tons per year, soon after the Spaniards (20 thousand tons), Italians (30 thousand tons) and French (75 thousand tons). The North American and Japanese market show more and more appetite for this delicacy. It is estimated that world consumption will reach 300,000 tons of snail. Unlike Portugal, where consumption is mostly seasonal.
But how to produce snails?
There are two main production methods: French and Italian.
The first is an intensive exploration system, where light, temperature and humidity conditions are carefully controlled to allow egg laying during all seasons of the year. The animals are raised on overlapping tables located in enclosed places. Some farms adopt a mixed breeding system, controlling breeding on the inside and fattening them on the outside.
The Italian method is based on the creation of open snails, in beds with special sowing that serve as shelter and food for snails. It is a biological system that requires less investment and little labor, but has less income than the French method and has a higher mortality rate of animals.
More recently, the Spaniards have developed another method that has been applied in both Spain and Italy and Portugal. It is an intensive system in nurseries, divided into greenhouses for fattening, laying and hatching eggs.
Already our producer creates and commercializes snail as well as fingerlings of the species “Helix Aspersa Máxima” in an adapted complete biological cycle. All the production is carried out in an agricultural greenhouse with irrigation systems by nebulizers, in order to guarantee the ideal temperature and humidity for the growth and development of the species. The greenhouse is composed of 12 fenced parks seeded with radishes, cabbages and turnips and with an average of 460 shelters in appropriate wood.
Be a farmer for a day!