Finally, Gastropod is tackling gastropods! In this episode, Cynthia visits one of America’s first and only snail farms.

Though Gastropod is, as regular listeners know, a podcast about the science and history of all things gastronomical, we do share a name with Gastropoda, the taxonomic class that includes slugs and snails. And, as it turns out, the history and science of heliciculture, or snail farming, is completely fascinating.

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IMAGE: Snail pen at Little Grey Farms escargotière, Quilcene, Washington. Photograph by Ric Brewer.

Join Cynthia on a trip to rural Washington State to learn how to raise snails and whether fresh and vacuum-packed taste any less rubbery than canned. Plus, you’ll hear about the earliest evidence for human snail consumption, how the Romans fattened theirs up, and all about the bizarre world of snail sex.

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IMAGE: Snails in Little Grey Farms’ Seattle warehouse. Photograph by Ric Brewer.

And, when you’ve listened, visit Gastropod for all kinds of links, photos, and even a snail orgy caught on home movie.