Place the snails in a deep bowl filled with tepid water and cover with a dish. Allow them to stand for 30 minutes. When the snails begin to move, remove the thick membrane covering their orifice with a knife and scrub any other waste from their shell (if a snail has not come off its shell, it is probably not alive). Rinse meticulously under plenty of tap water and let them boil in some saltwater for 5 minutes. Take them out with a ladle, put them into a colander and pour off any excess liquid. Saute the onion with the olive oil in a saucepan, add the fennel, stir and extinguish with wine. Add 1 cup of water and let food simmer for about 25 minutes. Then add the potatoes, snails, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Continue boiling for 30 minutes over moderate heat. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
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