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Scallops July 2016

Scallops - a fine shellfish!

The main part we eat is the muscle that opens and closes the pretty shell, the one that looks like the petrol station sign.

The other part is the roe (or coral), there is a debate as to whether the roe should be served or not, more about this.

The most common scallop is the American variety, these are caught off the USA in areas like New Bedford. They are completely different from European scallops in flavour and the fact that they are strictly caught without roe. I remember one of those shouty TV chefs berating at one of his chefs because he cooked a scallop with roe on. He said he had never seen anything so disgusting, but that’s probably only because he had ever cooked American scallops. If you know our British scallops, the truth is that American scallops, even though they are flown in fresh, are inferior - in comparison their flavour is watery and poor. These are the scallops often found in restaurants because they are cheaper, as price is what drives restaurants.

So for the best scallops look to home – and like all seafood, let us chose some great scallops for you (that's if you can't come into the fishmongers and chose them yourself!)  and thne cook them yourself. Cooking advice - a very hot pan, like a griddle or frying pan, a thin coating of oil on the pan, then just two minutes each side. You'll see the scallop gradually going more opaque from the pan up, flip them over, but DON'T overcook! Serve as they are, with a wedge of lemon, and a simple salad. It's that easy.

There are three types of British scallops that you’ll find, depending on where you shop

Dry-dry

Dry (or washed)

Soaked

Dry-dry are the best, it means they are just out of the shell, and don’t come into contact with any extra water. Scallops should not be washed as they absorb water, by as much as 25%, and this affects flavour and taste. THESE ARE THE SCALLOPS YOU WILL GET IF YOU ORDER FROM US! You can also buy empty shells from us, they are great for serving scallops in the traditional dish Coquilles St Jacques, or any starter that involves shellfish.

Dry (or washed) are cheaper because they have absorbed water, but they are soft when you eat them.

Soaked are common in Cornwall, they are fairly tasteless as they have as much as 25% water, but they appear cheaper because you are paying for the water. Supermarkets often used soaked scallops because they are in a price war situation, but as with all fish, cheapness with fish is not something to aspire to.

Shetland scallops are usually the best because they are usually dry-dry, YES THOSE ARE THE ONES YOU WILL GET IF YOU ORDER FROMUS!

To recognise a good scallop, look for them to be plump and bright – meaning that the colour is clear and they just look attractive. Some scallops are slightly darker than others, this is not bad, just look for them to be bright and the scallop looks quite solid. If they are soaked, the colour deteriorates and they are softer.

There is a new craze for "dived” scallops, it seems that every restaurant is selling these. But there are not enough divers to supply all these scallops, so be wary when you see this word. All the divers are licenced, and there are two women divers.

Queen scallops are a different species, they are small and are usually sold out of the shell and frozen. They don’t have added water so are not a bad buy, even if they are frozen. Maybe keep them for fish stews, scallops with garlic etc.

Scallops are here.

Created On  9 Jul 2016 8:43 in Did you know?  -  Permalink

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