Two methods of pre-cooking snails ready for selling are as follows:

* To prepare live snails for cooking, remove the membrane, if any, over the shell opening. Soak the snails in enough water to cover them, water to which you have added ½ cup salt or 1/4 cup vinegar fro every 50 snails. Change the water several times during 3-4 hour soaking. Rinse in several waters or under running water until the slime is removed. Put in cold water and bring to boil. Boil 8-10 minutes, then drain and plunge the snails into cold water. Drain. With a needle or small fork, pick the snails out of their shells. Remove the intestine and cut off all the black parts. (Some cooks also cut off the head, tail, and all "cartilage and gristle".)

* An alternate method is wash the snails well. (Obviously, don't use soap.) Drop into boiling salt water (to which you may add lemon juice and/ or herbs,) and cook until the snails can be easily removed from their shells, about 10-15 minutes. Drain and rinse.