Crawl for Digging up Snails

Lumbrein, undated

Snails were once a typical «poor people’s food». Moreover, the Church did not consider these molluscs as meat, which made them a popular fasting food. In Graubünden, the practice of collecting snails was also widespread. Usually the collecting was done by hand, however, to dig the snails up between stones and from the ground, a crawl such as this was used.

The collected animals were either roasted in the fire right away or fattened up and stored in snail pens, until they had sealed their shells’ opening for hibernation. Packed into barrels, they were then exported, mainly to Italy.