They're great with robust flavors - try them with Oriental flavors such as ginger, chili or lemongrass (see PICK OF THE RECIPES).
Archaeological findings show that scallops have been eaten by humans for thousands of years, although until the advent of modern fishing techniques (scallops are usually found on seabeds) they formed a small part of the diet of opportunistic seaside foragers.
Today a number of species are found in waters around the world and scallops are esteemed in seafood-eating cultures everywhere
Throughout North America scallops are mostly harvested by dredging. Aquaculture production (scallop farming - common in China and Japan) is increasing as techniques and yields improve and wild stocks decline. There is also a growing market for hand-dived specimens.
Scallops (like mussels and oysters) are bivalve molluscs. They are found on sandy or muddy sea beds and feeds by filtering microscopic organisms from the surrounding sea water. Most scallops are hermaphrodites and spawn twice a year.
The edible part of the scallop is the pale adductor muscle and orange roe (coral). The muscle is used to rapidly open and close the scallop's two beautiful fan-shaped shells (as used in the Shell oil company's logo) enabling it to propel itself by expelling water.
Scallops are rich in vitamin B12, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc and copper. They are also an excellent source of protein, phosphorus and selenium.
Choose (pricier) hand-dived scallops if you want to support a more environmentally-friendly and sustainable fishing method; dredging tends to damage the sea bed.
Scallop shells feature concentric rings. One ring forms each year, so the number of rings on the shell indicates the age of the scallop.
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