Can you fall in love with a snail? Yes, and in many ways! And there are even more reasons to fall in love with "In the Land of the Snail"!
The pace of this mollusk can be beneficial after intense exercise. But let's not escape in metaphors, because the topic is more prosaic: snails can be bred and used in the kitchen, for wellness and as ... a binder of an ambitious idea attracting tourists seeking new experiences and interesting forms of rest.
The snail has mixed the cuisine, agritourism, SPA, active forms of rest and history with local tradition and culture thanks to three people, who linked their ideas and talents in one project called "In the Land of the Snail".
Janusz Wołoszyński is a lover of good cuisine and a social activist, a local entrepreneur from Pasłęk.
Mirosław Jarząbek is the owner of agritourism near Braniewo and Frombork, a lover of local attractions and an admirer of garden plants.
Marcin Trudnowski owns a company that organizes water sports training and camps and runs a swimming school in Elbląg. He is passionate about active recreation, including boating trips.
How did it happen that snails became the common denominator for three businessmen operating in different sectors?
Well, it turns out that edible snails are the oldest European farm animals. Nowadays associated with French cuisine, for centuries they have been part of the Polish culinary tradition! Originally they appeared in southern Poland, and later thanks to monks who grew snails in monastery gardens and parks, they also reached the north.
The monks used snail meat to supplement a low-protein diet during long fasts, because, like fish, snails were considered fasting. They settled in Polish cuisine for good since the 16th century. In the oldest Polish cookbook, “Compendium ferculorum” from 1682, you can find more recipes for snail dishes than for pork! And in the 17th century, they also became popular at the tables of the aristocracy. And then they gradually disappeared from the Polish menu ...
Today, one of the largest natural habitats of snails in Poland is Warmia and Mazury. Snail farms and processing plants, including African and Mediterranean snails, are also becoming more and more popular here. However, for now, the French, Spanish and Italians eat them, because both snails harvested from fields and forests, as well as most of the farm production, are intended for export. It is a pity, because snails are a healthy and very nutritious dish. 100 grams of meat contain: 16 grams of protein, 2 grams of fats (but only 0.07 grams of cholesterol!), As well as phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc and the "element of life" - selenium.
Eating this portion one provides only 81 kcal!
In addition, snail meat is considered an ideal diet for stomach pains, and the water left over from cooking can heal diseases of the throat, bronchi, stomach, and also accelerate wound healing.
Snails can play an important role not only in the culinary but also in pharmacology, cosmetology and the field of biological regeneration (wellness). The unusual properties of snail slime were discovered in ancient Greece but the real boom for this substance began in the 1980s, when the owner's son noticed the beneficial effects of snails on the condition of his skin while working on a farm. 10 years later, the production of mucus was started on a larger scale since implemented research showed unequivocally that the product is effective.
This is only a modest part of the knowledge that Grzegorz Skalmowski has about snails - one of the greatest specialists in the field of cooking and other uses of mollusks in Poland, co-author and publisher of the book "Culinary journey of the snail" containing 120 original recipes created by 64 culinary masters. An experienced cook, enthusiast and precursor of the idea of snail return to Polish tables, is also the author of the project combining the use of snails in gastronomy, knowledge about their breeding with traditions, culture and active recreation.
Janusz Wołoszyński, Mirosław Jarząbek and Marcin Trudnowski picked up his idea, joined forces and decided to put the whole concept into action. In 2017, they submitted an application for co-financing to the Operational Program Eastern Poland (priority 1 Entrepreneurial Eastern Poland, measure 1.3 Supra-regional cooperation links, sub-measure 1.3.2 Creating network products by SMEs). When the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development positively considered it, it is possible to start in 2018 creation of a tourist offer under the brand of a nice mollusk, closed in a triangle connecting the towns: Pasłęk, Braniewo and Elbląg.
"In the land of the Snail", among others there are: a restaurant NOVA in Nowa Wieś near Pasłęk with Snail Gallery and green areas with a thematic playground, a mini snail farm and an educational path with a snail in the background, a SPA & Wellness facility in Stępień near Frombork with a recreation area (including an outdoor swimming pool, a themed playground for children, a mini-golf trainer), as well as an extensive water base in Elbląg well equipped, a house boat and a modern wharf.