The question we are asked more than any other is ‘why snail farming?’
In the UK it’s an especially unusual profession, as we’re not big escargot consumers. For us, that’s one of the attractions.
Healthy and Sustainable
As our populations grow, many of us are considering how we can feed ourselves healthily, whilst taking care of the planet.
Snails are very high in protein, low in fat and carbs and an abundance of nutrients. It amazes me how nature can turn vegetables (eaten by snails) into such a nutritious food source for us.
So, we’re on a mission to follow the rest of Europe and convert the nation to munching molluscs!
From the city to Somerset
If you had asked me the typical interview question ‘so, where do you see yourself in 5 years time?’ a few years ago, it definitely wouldn’t have been as a snail farmer, or any kind of farmer.
My husband and I are both from city suburbs – London and Birmingham, with a love for the outdoors and big fans of camping.
We have lived together in Somerset for over 10 years and having moved into our dream home a couple of years ago, we wondered what to do with a small piece of land we have.
Good old Google
Googling turned up things like pig farming, or alpaca breeding. Fairly high investment and with a need to understand basic animal husbandry, this wasn’t for us.
Then I came across Gaelic Escargot, where Eva has been snail farming for the last 7 years. What was really interesting is how her success has encouraged a co-operative of around 15 snail farmers in Ireland, creating a diversity opportunity.
Further research showed that there is one key escargot producer in the UK, they have grown their production year on year for around the last 10 years, demonstrating there is demand, particularly in high end restaurants.
Becoming mainstream again
Originally a peasant food and known as wallfish in the UK, escargot have now become an elite choice, often with a price tag to match.
Our vision is that escargot once again become a mainstream food source, served in a wonderful variety of ways, as well as the delicious garlic butter. Think snail bombs, thai coconut and chili curry, caracoles (Spanish for snails) paella and pasta with garlic, parmesan, pine nut and basil pesto. Anything you can do with seafood, you can do with land snails! Our recipe blogs include how to prepare to make sure they are tender and delicious.
More on our journey here.
Lyn Paxman, Snail Herder and Conversation Starter