Il Poggiolino

Immersed in the Casentino Valley in Tuscany with its 15,000 square metres extension, the Poggiolino farm is the perfect example of integration between business and environment. We breed Helix Aspersa Muller and we are taught about the life of the snail by the wisdom of nature itself. Our task is to allow suitable conditions for the growth and breeding of the animals, nurturing harmony while avoiding any setbacks . The whole life cycle takes place in the breeding farm. This guarantees fresh produce, with higher quality than we might find in nature: softer flesh, better quality of snail feed used, homogeneity of the size, availability all year round.

Our Firm

The freshness of female entrepreneurship, together with the choice of a type of farming which is respectful of the rhythms of nature, make the Poggiolino farm an example of brilliant innovative business. The owner is a young woman.  The activity she has set up both covers a growing market share with a great potential, and reinforces the ancient strong bonds with nature in mutual exchange and sharing. Our business is family-run and operates in a context of trust and reliability. We run our activity seriously, with passion and care: we keep our technical training constantly updated, so that, together with the love for our job, we are able to offer a top quality product concerning both organoleptic features and sanitary parameters. We continuously cooperate with the International Institute of Snail Farming Cherasco (CN) in order to spread the knowledge of advanced professional techniques, respectful of the well being of the animals. It is thanks to our passion that we have been able to get the attention of such a prestigious firm as S’agapaώ, which produces slime-based cosmetics for the well being and beauty of the body. We decided to set up our farm in Casentino, a land of great environmental and historical value. The Casentino Valley was first inhabited by the Etruscans, then ruled by the Guidi Counts whose castles can still be admired; magnificent Romanesque parish churches are scattered all around; it is famous for the Camaldoli Hermitage with its pharmacy of medicinal herbs, and it hosted the poet Dante Alighieri in the Middle Ages. In addition, it is crossed by the Arno river and covered with the Casentino Forests, an inestimable environmental heritage whose large protected areas host a variety of wildlife and vegetation. It is right here, in this naturalistic paradise, that we work to give a concrete answer to the principles of ecology in its original full meaning ( from ancient Greek oikos-logos, “study of the environment/home”).

A Continuous Cycle

Respecting earth and the creatures living there are basic values. That is why, together with the International Institute of Snail Farming Cherasco (CN), we implemented the Continuous Cycle System, whose professional technical features are meant to safeguard the animals’ healthiness. The snail is bred in a friendly environment and lives on a free ground until it reaches an adult phase, which takes about 2 years during which it is fed on vegetables. The gathering of the snails takes place in summer and autumn, after that they are cleaned out and selected.

Helix Aspersa SNAIL

Snails are gastropod pulmunate molluscs (Helix Aspersa Stylommatophora). Helix Aspersa is the most widespread species in the Mediterranean and it represents the 80% of the whole Italian snails. It features a conoid shell, convex on top and slanting at the bottom, with 3-4  spirals. Its features make it one of the finest species for culinary and cosmetic use. Excellent size, sweet and rich, its flesh is soft and tasty. In addition, the Italian snail is a guarantee of wholesomeness: it is fed on selected vegetables and lives in controlled sanitary conditions and environment.

Culinary Aspects

The snail is notoriously a specialty. However, not only is it appreciated by the most refined cuisines, but also it boasts excellent nutrients, which make it a better food than meat. It contains as many proteins as eggs, it is low-fat and hypo caloric. It helps eliminate cholesterol through bile ducts.

FOODS WATER (%) PROTEINS (%) FATS (%) CALORIES (per 100 grammi)
Beef 62.8 18.8 15.4 214
Chicken 68.7 19.1 11.0 175
Egg 73.9 13.0 11.1 156
Sole Fish 81.5 15.9 2.6 82
Snail 84.9 13.4 1.2 67

Cosmetics

Snail slime is one of the purest existing ingredients, as well as one the most respectful of the environment. Moreover, it is a reference element in dermatology and pharmacy. Its properties have been discovered by observing the hands of snail breeders, which featured a smooth moisturized skin with no ageing signs. Quite obviously the quality of raw materials makes a difference: if the slime is extracted without any stressful or invasive stimulators, it will definitely have higher properties and that is why we produce it for S’agapaώ. Mucopolysaccharides are a protective adhesive hydrogel; collagen conveys skin tonicity; glycolic acid has a scrubbing action; allatoin has moisturizing soothing anti-flushing properties; vitamins A, C and E are antioxidants.

Market

Natural snail farming has been developing a lot over recent years, and it is going to have a brilliant future in the market: on the one side more and more consumers are choosing to purchase naturally bred snails to eat, and on the other side the cosmetic value of slime is being universally recognised. In the 1970s the first laws regulating Helix gathering were issued, so the complete-cycle biological farming has been practised since then. As a consequence, the consumption of snails has strongly increased and in Italy their production has boosted quickly, also thanks to updated farming techniques. Snails world business has reached 10 billion Euros over the last 2 years and in Italy, in 2014, more than 40,000 tonnes were produced.