Sea snails are also popular, and frankly, tastier in their own right (as opposed to being something for your garlic butter to stick to). In France they are called bulots, in England they are whelks, and in Belgium, where they can be bought cooked in bouillon as street food, they are escargots de Bruxelles. In France they are most often served cold, and you can encounter them as one of the choices at lunchtime in restaurants that serve a buffet style entrée.
Bulots from the fishmonger in Preuilly market.Like most seafood they must be cooked for a very short time or they turn into the most dreadful rubber. You also need to scrub them well before cooking to remove grit and growths that might fall off in the cooking. To eat them hook them out with a fork or toothpick, pop them in your mouth and bite off the hard 'foot'. At this time of year they seem to be producing roe at the other end, which is delicious - rather like liver in texture and flavour.