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Le Lumache

Le lumache - snails - are a popular food in Italy.  They are also known as le lumache di terra - earth/land snails.  Another name for a snail is una chiocciola.  This word literally means 'a spiral' and refers to the shape of the snail's shell.  The shell is il guscio.

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.

le monzette.jpg


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