Heliciculture is the art of raising snails in order to exploit their flesh, with high content of protein, eggs used to make a kind of black caviar and slime in cosmetics, although today can also be considered the playful aspect, ie the snail farming as a hobby, a feature that is increasingly taking more followers.
Snail breeding is very demanding in terms of hygiene.
Using the snail as a food dates back to ancient times, as it has been found fossil remains of prehistoric shellfish in caves. In Roman times not only they consumed but also raised them, and who devised the first known venues for raising snails, around the year 50 BC where snails fattened with wine and bran. We must comment that the word snail is formed by "helici" derived from the Latin Helix, -icis, spiral, and culture, culture.
Also at the time of the Middle Ages they were consumed in abundance especially during Lent as snails were suitable meat abstinence. They prepared fried with onions, boiled or skewers, being a common dish in many monasteries throughout Europe. It was to the early eighteenth century when the snail disappeared from the table of the nobles, was dish poor, but at a reception for the Czar of Russia, Talleyrand, a politician and French gourmet, the recovery going to be a delicacy for European cuisine high rank. In Spain the use of snails in the kitchen is part of our culture, used in times of famine, a typical dish in certain festivities and considered a luxury in many restaurants.
Snails are a source of animal protein, no fat.
Until the mid-twentieth century, the snail was limited to finding snails for their own consumption or sale in markets, but at the end of the seventies in France and Italy began with this alternative farming as livelihood of many families. In Spain it comes to most people as something unknown, but this inroads due to the search for greener food products and reducing snails as natural resources, so from the point of view of the marketing of snails, breeding is a form of sustainable development for the species.