Lastra a Signa is home to one of the few snail farms in Italy.
Snails are edible and in Italy (like in France and some non-European countries) they are farmed for human consumption. Their meat has many qualities. It is high in protein, low in fat and packed with minerals and vitamin A. This makes it light and low-calorie. Snail secretion is instead widely used in the cosmetic industry as an anti-aging ingredient.
?Before cooking, snails they must be purged of their mucin and other impurities. This procedure lasts several days. The snails are put inside a closed but ventilated container and kept in a cool place.
Following the purging procedure, the snails must be washed many times in warm salted water, with or without vinegar. After draining them, they are cooked in boiling water for a few hours. The froth on the surface of the water must be removed frequently as they cook. Once done, the snails can be extracted from their shells and prepared in a variety of ways: stewed or according to the traditional recipes of Burgundy, Bordeaux, the Marches, etc.