Le Lumache

              Le lumache - snails - are a popular food in Italy.

There are all different ways in which they can be served and they come in different sizes ranging from small to large.   Even sea snails - le lumache di mare - are an Italian food.

The different categories are:

la lumachina - small snail (size of a small grape)
la lumaca - medium-sized snail
il lumacone - big snail (size of a golf ball)
la monzetta - medium-sized snail with a dark shell.  The name 'monzetta' means 'little nun.'  When these snails hibernate they produce a white substance which shuts them within their shell.  The white substance against the dark shell looks like the colours worn traditionally by a nun - black with some white.


Snails' eggs are also eaten. These are called il caviale di lumaca.  The eggs look like little, white pearls and for that reason they are also known as le perle.

Buon appetito!