Nothing unlike the mussels and oysters, scallops happen to be bivalve mollusks that have two shells hinging together. These also have meaty deliciousness right inside. There are some scallops which attach themselves to the rocks. However, most of these are harvested and then sold by snapping the shells together, that develops the muscle known as the ‘eye’. It is sweet-flavored and pale muscle which is first sold, served and then eaten.
So overall, this delicacy is well-equipped in the five star restaurants’ kitchens. If you’re aiming at knowing everything about it, then keep reading on.
Generally speaking, there are two primary types of scallops which is commonly seen at the fish counters. The most coveted ones are sea scallops which are also familiar with the name ‘weathervane scallops’. As a matter of fact, these are Scallops which you can see on any restaurant menu. Served sliced thinly or seared, they complement the raw as crudo or sushi.
Smaller and just as sweet, bay scallops, are also delicious. They’re usually served in soups, stews, or salads, but can also be served on their own. Bay scallops live in the reedy sea grasses of ocean bays and their populations have dwindled in recent decades. Luckily, efforts to raise them in environmentally sustainable aquaculture are getting off to a good start.
Rock scallops are the ones that cling to the rocks rather than swimming at the sea. These are often seen at the restaurants or home kitchens and are less common forms. Unlike the bay scallops or sea scallops, the rock scallops are found in Pacific range.
How Will You Cook it?
All scallops should be cooked quickly to maintain their delicate texture. Overcooked or dried out scallops turn tough and chewy. Scallops can be poached, sautéed, broiled, baked, or fried. Many old-fashioned recipes douse scallops in heavy sauces, but we prefer cooking scallops with little-added fat so the full flavor of the sweet, light meat shines through. Quickly searing scallops over high heat in a bit of butter is perhaps the easiest and most delicious way to cook scallops. Although tossing small scallops in this creamy seafood chowder is tasty, too.
Farmed, Diver, Dredged Scallops
How scallops are caught makes a huge difference in how sustainable they are:
- ‘Diver’ scallops are hand-picked by divers and can be the best choice.
- Farmed or commonly called the ‘cultured’ scallops happen to be the ‘best choice’. It happens to be a sweet and meaty scallop being grown in the British Columbia. This is one of the most common forms of this delicacy that you can try your hands on. As a matter of fact, it would be a perfect treat to your taste buds.
- Avoid scallops caught by dredging, which harms the environment and other sea creatures.
Scallops are sold either “wet” or “dry.” Look for “dry,” natural scallops that have not been treated with any chemicals. “Wet” scallops are treated with phosphates, which causes them to absorb water. This extra water makes them heavier and thus more expensive. So if you want to buy it, then perform the necessary survey and proceed with nit accordingly.