Whelks are saltwater molluscs with grey or brownish shells and resemble pointy snails.
They are usually sold already cooked and shelled and can be eaten with a sprinkling of vinegar or with slices of bread and butter. The chewy flesh is quite juicy and salty. They’re available year-round but are at their best from September to February.
If you do cook them from fresh then make sure you wash them thoroughly in several changes of water then leave them to soak for a couple of hours. They only need minimal cooking of about 10 to 15 minutes in boiling salted water, otherwise the flesh will be rubbery.