Gaelic Escargot is catching on at more than a snail’s pace

It’s catching on at more than a snail’s pace in Ireland but Gaelic Escargot is really speeding to success across the globe. In fact a young entrepreneur in Ireland is managing to turn snail-rearing into a farming and cash crop business all rolled into one.

Garden Snail

Garden Snail Image by Sid Mosdell / CC BY 2.0

Eva Milka, who emigrated from Poland to Ireland seven years ago, explains that her idea to make a living out of snails comes for her own taste for escargot – something more commonly associated with French cuisine.

TheJournal.ie reports how Eva began ‘farming’ snails in plastic containers inside her flat. She said she did this to satisfy her own appetite because she couldn’t find a place to buy them in Ireland.

It was then she discovered that there was a worldwide shortage of snails and she decided to use a one-acre plot in Co Carlow to establish the country’s first free-range snail farm.

Her enterprise produced about 7.5 tonnes of escargot in total in its first year. The premium product sells for over €30 per kilo. There are also spin-off products to her industry – such as snail-shell fertilisers and snail beauty products.

While Ireland’s appetite for escargot is very much in its infancy, there has been a strong demand for her Gaelic Escargot product across continental Europe and as far away as Asia and the Middle East.

She disclosed that the fact that they came from Ireland was her biggest selling point because people associate the country as being green free-range and organic.

This year though, Eva will focus her business on creating a viable Irish escargot industry.

She is further planning to develop the best way to breed snails in Irish conditions by linking up with a third-level institute.

It is estimated that up to 10 tonnes of snail can be harvested per acre over a year.

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