The snails: typical products of the Cuneo area

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The Cherasco snails and those of San Dalmazzo are part of the traditional products of the province of Cuneo. Widely used in the kitchen, two fairs are dedicated to these delicious gastropods.

Snails of Cherasco

The breeding method guarantees quality. Snails are born and grow outdoors, completing their life cycle in a natural way, fed with the vegetation that grows inside the enclosures.

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.

Mountain snails of Borgo San Dalmazzo

This particular variety of Helix Pomatia called alpine is low in fat but rich in protein, minerals, iron, vitamin C and calcium. The snails have a typical flavor due to the aromatic herbs they feed on.

Identikit and main features

The snails of Borgo San Dalmazzo belong to the Apine Helix pomatia specie and they are collected in the mountain areas. They are generally bigger than other snails: 65-70mm high, 50-55mm diameter and 50-60 g weight.

To be breed they have to be fed with mountain herbs, because it is only thanks to this particular diet that they become bigger than the others. For the same reason the taste depends on the nourishment they received.

Area of production

The area of production includes the Maritime Alps, from the Pesio Valley to the Maira one and, in particular, all the valleys around Borgo San Dalmazzo.


Every year Borgo San Dalmazzo hosts the “Fiera Fredda”. It was created in 1569 thanks to the approval of Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy, who appreciated the local snails. In the same town, at the beginning of the ‘70s, it was founded the first centre of helicicolture, which contributes to the preservation of the Helix Pomatia specie. The collection and fattening activities has always been a profitable activity for the mountain populations.

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