Scallops: What Are They And What Do Scallops Taste Like?
Have you ever tried scallops? What do scallops taste like? Did you like it?
With high levels of omega-3, copper, B vitamin, protein, iron and many more nutrients, seafood is one of the healthiest kinds of food you can include in your diet.
In fact, most of the countries with the longest expected lifespan share something in common: They all have diets that include seafood.
This time, we want to talk about scallops.
What Are Scallops?
Scallops are mollusks known for their soft texture and delicate, somewhat sweet flavor, which is known to charm even those who dislike seafood.
If that wasn’t enough, scallops are also a great source of vitamin B, magnesium and potassium, all while being quite low in calories. With these babies having around 1 calorie per gram.
Scallops have one of the most easily recognizable shells out there. In fact, it’s so popular than when you think of “seashells” chances are an image of a scallop shell will pop out in your mind.
Types of Scallops
There are three types of scallops out there:
- Sea Scallops
These are large scallops, often measuring 2” in dimeter and they’re the most common type of scallops, not only because they’re more numerous but also because they’re available all year long.
- Bay Scallops
Available mostly from October to March, bay scallops are much smaller and sweeter than sea scallops, as well as more aesthetically pleasing.
- Calico Scallops
These are available from December to May and they’re usually harvested in the US Golf and Southern Atlantic coasts. While similar in appearance, the shells of these mollusks are perfectly sealed, which means they have a milder flavor than the other types.
How Can You Cook Scallops?
Scallops are not only an easy to find mollusk but they’re also one of the most versatile when it comes to cooking. They can be sautéed, broiled, grilled, baked, stir fried on a pan, simmered and more.
That said, scallops are rather tricky to cook as they can overcook quite easily, which will give them a rubbery, somewhat chewy texture that you won’t enjoy.
What Do Scallops Taste Like?
Scallops, like any other mollusks, are made almost entirely out of muscle which means they’re though to chew, even when cooked.
As far as taste goes, scallops have a very distinct taste that’s somewhat fishy without really being overwhelming.
They have a nuttier-think hazelnut and almond-taste to them and, in general, they have a milder taste than oysters and other mollusks, while still having a distinctively fishy taste to it.
That said, when cooked the flavor elevates and changes, resulting in a meatier, almost grilled like flavor that you’re bound to love, particularly when combined with other savory foods such as bacon or butter.
The Scallop Controversy
Compared to other mollusks, scallops are highly perishable. This is because once caught the shell tends to open, exposing the sensitive muscle to air and bacteria.
Some are killed and frozen immediately after being caught to preserve their freshness.
Others, known as day boat scallops are caught and immediately taken to shore. These are usually the freshes and most expensive scallops you’ll find. And they’re usually only sold near shores.
A good number of scallops are submerged in a solution of sodium tropolyphosphate, also known as STP.
While this isn’t a problem when used sparingly (dipping the scallops in the liquid before freezing them, for example), some fishermen let the scallops soak in the liquid, which can be absorbed by the mollusk.
This isn’t bad for your health, per se, but will increase the relative ‘size’ of the scallop, boosting their price while lowering the quality.
This kind of scallops are known as wet pack.
If you’d rather avoid STP treated scallops you should buy dry pack scallops, which are scallops that were packaged without any kind of preservative.
How to Tell Dry Pack from Wet Pack Scallops
Differentiating between dry pack and wet pack scallops is very simple, and you only need to look at two characteristics.
Dry Pack scallops are ivory, beige or even slightly grey in color. They’re also quite sticky.
Wet Pack scallops, on the other hand, are bright white and wet to the touch.
Finding high quality scallops might not be an easy task, particularly if you live in the city, but we promise the search is worthwhile.
This delicious mollusk has the potential to become one of your favorite foods so make sure to try it if you ever have the chance!
Thank you very much for reading. Don’t forget to leave a comment!