Identikit and main features
The snails of Cherasco belong to the Helix pomatia and Helix aspersa species. The first ones are bigger, with a resistant, globular and reddish shell (39-43 mm high) with a diameter of 38-45mm. Their body is white-yellow. The Helix aspersa has a wide and globular shell with some fine stripes, it is 29-33mm high with a diameter of 32-38mm. The colour is yellow or grey, the body is 5-6 cm long and it can be yellow-green or green-black, with a pale line on the back. These snails are bred totally open air and fed with an exclusive vegetal diet.
Area of production
The main breeding centres are spread in the Cuneo province and near Turin, in the plane and hilly areas up to 800-900 mamsl. Generally they are bred where the soil is humid or well irrigated.
The total breeding of Helix snails has been developed at the beginning of the ‘70s. From the old tradition of the “lumachiere” (small enclosures), thanks to the experiments of the Istituto Internazionale di Elicicoltura of Cherasco, born in 1972, the breeding of the snails has improved. In 1978 was founded the Associazione Nazionale Elicoltori of Cherasco which includes many producers and certifies their snails with the Helix brand name. In Cherasco there is also the Istituto Internazionale di Elicicotura which gives assistance to the producers and promotes their products.