Both are uni-valves with ribbed spiral shells and a similar appearance to a snail. They can grow up to 12cm. The meat is juicy with a strong flavour, and a chewy texture. Whelk meat is often sold cooked, but if raw, soak for several hours in salty water, before steaming for 5 minutes. Serve with lemon juice, salt and pepper or with the traditional malt vinegar and a winkle picker. Winkles are a similar shape to Whelks, but rarely grow beyond 3cm and have much darker coloured shells. Cook in the same way.