Romans brought snails to the alps
With the expansion of the Roman Empire, eating escargots became widespread throughout Europe. This is evidenced by the excavation of Roman colonies, including the Roman city of Carnuntum, near Vienna. However, the breeding of vineyard snails in the Alpine region first became truly widespread with the rise of Christianity and the fasting rules the religion brought with it. For the church, snails were neither fish nor meat and were therefore permitted ‚Äď and eaten in large amounts ‚Äď during Lent in particular. Monks took up the old tradition of snail breeding in their monastery gardens, a practice that can still be found in parts of Italy today.
Today, vineyard snails are considered part of the culinary heritage of the Alps, with a geographic arc leading from the French Alps to Vienna.