Hunter Valley Snails
Snails. They are reviled by gardeners and cursed as ‘slippery little suckers’ by Pretty Women. Yet they are also revered by chefs and gourmets across the globe. As spring sets in you might be wondering what to do with those pesky garden invaders.
Well, never fear – unique local business Hunter Valley Snails is here and on the hunt for as many snails as they can get.
Hunter Valley Snails owner and operator Matt Friere says after years spent working in the wine industry he was looking for a change. He realises that for most people becoming a snail farmer might not have been the first option to spring to mind.
“I get some crazy looks from people when I tell them what I do,” Matt says.
“It’s not a surprise for me because it’s the same look I got from my family when I first brought up the idea.
“But, when we took a good look at it we realised it was an under-developed industry with a lot of potential to grow, so a little over two years ago we embraced the challenge and became snail farmers.”
Matt says much of the potential comes from the region’s reputation as a premium food and wine destination. Although snails-escargot for those in the culinary know-are somewhat of a niche product, they fit nicely with other high-end produce on offer in the region.
“We provide a fresh Australian grown product that can be delivered next day to most customers,” Matt says.
“This ability has been a strength for our business; we’ve capitalised on the growing movement towards chefs and restaurateurs using fresh, locally sourced produce on their menus.”
Matt says people might be surprised to know many snails started out in a garden before landing on a plate.
“We only have one breed of snail in this country that can be eaten and it is your common garden snail,” Matt says.
“Of course, it’s not just a matter of picking them off the cherry tomato bush and popping them in the frying pan.
“The texture and taste of snails is refined through the farming process – we value-add by turning them into delicious little morsels ready for consumption.”
Matt says there’s more than one way to farm snails, from intensive indoor to free range options. There’s also more than one way to use them. Hunter Valley Snails sells direct to the public, and can also supply snails to pet shops for reptile food.
If you have a snail problem, give Hunter Valley Snails a call.
W: Hunter Valley Snails | P: 02 4991 1249 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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