THE DISCIPLINARY CHIOCCIOLA METODO CHERASCO
The rules and regulations that give breeding snails the exclusive title of Chiocciola Metodo are simple but hard to respect.
The laws of nature strictly inspired the method and, for this reason, no alternatives are allowed to an outdoor model without human assistance that creates shelter from the weather conditions. Sun, rain, snow and wind make the selection of the animals that will arrive in the kitchens of the most prestigious chefs and precious homemakers who are responsible for preserving the recipes of the regional culinary tradition.
Our intent is therefore to bet without hesitation on quality, making a respectful but conscious choice, which does not take notice of the value of quantity to the detriment of value. Chiocciola Metodo Cherasco therefore does not aim to identify the city with a kind of snail, simply because there is no autochthonous species, but certainly wants to honour the tradition that this community has protected and enhanced and promote the values of its heritage.
Affirmation and conscious promotion is where our effort aims, a quality heliciculture that respects nature, accepting the limits that it imposes, directed exclusively to the achievement of a high-quality standard.
The complete natural cycle of the snails breeding must be built in a free plot of land and exclusively in the open air, without covering, but also without the use of any structure, that causes shelter from the atmospheric agents.
The purpose of this system is to recreate the conditions of development in nature, without concessions to artificial situations that may affect in some way the peculiar relationship between animals and the ecosystem that they live in freedom.
The disciplinary Chiocciola Metodo Cherasco requires that the structure of the heliciculture farm is physically composed of a protective perimetric structure, within which develop additional containment fences for the snails.
Each fence must be divided into two different areas:
– Reproduction Zone (40% of the fence area)
– Fattening area (60% of the fence area)
This form of containment aims at the correct management of the snails’ development phases and to the complete control over the feeding.
The Chiocciola Metodo Cherasco system then defines a breeding condition in which the habitat plays a central role, with specific characteristics strictly oriented towards a natural and non-invasive model that, however, guarantees a higher and standardised level of quality to the production, through exclusively plant-based and controlled nutrition.
According to the disciplinary, the open-air heliciculture breeding is designed using the specific climatic and microclimatic conditions of the area, in order to identify suitable procedures to achieve the highest gastronomic quality and production capacity.
In the feeding phase of the animals, the rules provided for in the Chiocciola Metodo Cherasco disciplinary must be respected.
The feeding of the snails will therefore be aimed at quality production rather than maximum growth or performance, always strictly respecting their nutritional needs at all physiological stages.
The diet must consist of fresh vegetables, especially self-produced, specific to the breeding and fattening areas.
The ‘Chiocciola Metodo Cherasco‘ regulation requires that, in addition to growing fresh vegetables, a “Supplementary Feed” area of 30-60% of the structure area be set to guarantee the availability of a portion of the product during the periods of greatest nutritional need.
The additional vegetation must be used to guarantee the required nutrition to the snails in the most delicate stages, when it begins to run out inside the fences or becomes unattractive to the snails due to the slime left there by locomotion.
The nutrient supply must be consistent with the specific needs emerging during the different physiological stages of the snail and particularly intense in certain periods, such as before and after hibernation.
When the vegetation present in the farm does not fully meet the needs, for quantity and quality, it is then possible the use of the food supplement Helix Integra; its vegetal content ensures the right energy level and an organic development of meat and shell.
The use of Helix Integra must not exceed 15% of the total ration of food by weight, in relation to the quantity introduced from outside and not contained in the fences.
Helix Integra must be dispensed by distributing the product over the leaves of the vegetables to ensure, for the scratching mechanics of the radula, that both fresh and dry components are ingested at the same time.
THE HELITEX NET
The delimitation of the fence area and the reproduction/fattening areas must be realised with Helitex net, which is a product studied to create a better management of the breeding and, most of all, the preservation of the snail’s health.
Its structure has a narrow mesh design in non-toxic polyethylene, shaded, with double flounces to prevent escape and is treated to be resistant to the corrosive effects of slime.
The yarn must have the following technical characteristics:
– Virgin HDPE material
– Yarn diameter of 2.2 mm
– Shrinkage resistance
– Resistance to UVA exposure
The concept behind the “complete natural cycle” breeding method involves the use of breeding animals through “self-production”, that is the ability of the farming to guarantee itself a fair number of subjects with the correct characteristics for reproductive purposes, which at each cycle ensure repopulation through the birth of snails born from their mating.
The first insertion of breeders in the breeding farm must take place exclusively with selected and certified Helix Aspersa (Muller – Typica – Maxima), with the appropriate certificate of origin and species released by the National Association of Heliciculturists together with the International Institute of Heliciculture.
The attribution of the species takes place at the following conditions:
– Minimum temperature reached: from -8 to -15°C -> Helix Aspersa Maxima
– Minimum temperature reached: down to – 7°C -> Helix Aspersa Typica
– Minimum temperature reached: where it does not fall below 0°C -> Helix Aspersa Muller
The Chiocciola Metodo Cherasco regulation provides, in the field of plant cultivation, the adherence to the symbiotic agriculture system and, therefore, the inoculation of natural fertilizers in the soil both inside the breeding fences and in the supplementary feeding area.
The use of mychorrhizate fungi during sowing and growth phases is an innovative procedure that has provided many elements to qualify it as functional for improving the root system and, consequently, the strength of the plants and their ability to carry nutrients.