The Madonite snail

“We have always been friends, then one day we had this idea.” - Davide Merlino

Visit to the three young snail farmers who work for the Lumaca Madonita company. Discover how the snails are raised and enjoy a walk along the sea through the fields of snails, as well as a tasting of various products, amongst which are the rare delicacy Pearls of the Madonie.

They did many other things in life. Then, one day, they decided to try their hand at being snail farmers, raising snails so they could be eaten. When they started in 2006, the field of snail farming was not as common as it is today. And yet snails, even if they were not raised on a farm, have always been eaten in Sicily – in soups, with beer in the Messinese or in couscous in Trapani. So, Davide, Michaelangelo and Giuseppe wondered why they continued to search for this product elsewhere, when it could be made locally. And just to think that, despite it being an increasingly growing sector, Italy still imports around 80% of its total from abroad! These young men, however, are not just three ordinary snail farmers. Other than being amongst the first and the greatest snail farmers in Italy, producing around 20 tonnes a year, they have had various encounters with a new species, the Madonite Snail, which is also the name of their company. Furthermore, the three of them have strongly believed in communication and training. Every Friday, during Helix Day, they hold courses to train other potential snail farmers and incentivise the opening of new companies, so much so that now more than 1,500 have opened thanks to them. This has also lead to many, many people right there, in their region, Campofelice di Roccella, at a point not too close to nor too far from the big cities, in one of those places where it just happens, without intentionally going. But Davide, Michelangelo and Giuseppe are also the only ones in Italy and some of the few people in the world to product the Pearls of the Madonie, the incredibly precious snail eggs, which have become amongst the most well-studied products by Michelin star chefs like Carlo Cracco or Martina Caruso, to name just a few. Together, they also put forward a line of gourmet ready meals with the slime it leaves behind, extracted ethically, without killing any animal, by turning it around with your hands so it produces it in defence. And yet, to truly understand this product, reading it is not enough. You have to see where the snails are born and live, breathe the air that they breath, and know what they eat. All in all, you have to visit the fields of the Madonite Snail, who can be found along one of the most beautiful walks in all of Sicily, from which you can admire the whole coast from Palermo to Cefalù. To finish, there will be a tasting of this tiny animal. Take your time, because, as these three gentlemen say, there's no need to rush excellence.

Ideale

Non-lovers of snails, because this is the perfect place to think again and change your mind.

Bisogno

Comfortable shoes and clothing to walk in the fields where the snails are raised; the curiosity to try the Lumaca Madonita products.

Incontrerai

The three young gentlemen who own the Lumaca Madonita company and other future farmers visiting; families, couples and children discovering the world of snail farming.

Duration

6h

When

  • Thursday: 9:00 - 16:00
  • Saturday: 9:00 - 16:00

Included

Visit to the farm, learning, tasting, snail lunch.

Not included

Transport.