Instant Elegance: The Scallop

 A feature from the November 2016 issue of Suffolk Norfolk Life magazine
Suffolk Norfolk Life November 2016Click to view this issue »
By Mark Dixon

The quality of scallops available from Britain’s shores is very high, although if you really want the best you must be prepared to pay for them – hand dived scallops tend to be more expensive than dredged, but the former is a far superior and more sustainable method of fishing. It is worth the extra cost, however, for the scallops will be firmer and sweeter in taste.

Scallops can be a little tricky to cook but, when cooked correctly, they add an instant elegance to any dish. This collection of scallop recipes contains plenty of inspiration to bring a sense of luxury to any dinner party, whether you’re looking for a seafood starter or an extra special main.

This is the bi-valve shellfish with a flat, fanned bottom shell and a domed fan-shaped upper shell. There are essentially two types: the bigger Sea scallop lives in open waters, while the smaller ones, generally known as Bay scallops, are more commonly found in sheltered waters. The Isle of Man’s Queenie scallop is a variety of the latter, but in fact they can be found all round the world.

The major, cylindrical adductor muscle of all scallops is naturally sweet, tender and delicate in flavour. The orange (female) or grey-pink (male) shape attached is known as the coral and the roe or milt sacs. These have a more robust flavour and are often removed for sale but the combination of the two makes a very attractive presentation.

They’re available all the year round in one form or another, but always choose the best, fresh scallops, which have a creamy, sometimes fawn colour, and are sold as ‘dry’ scallops; if they are very white they have been treated with phosphates to keep them plump and fresh and are known as ‘wet’ scallops, but the flavour and texture are affected minimally. The less they smell the fresher they are but a faint sweetish aroma is common.

Read the full article in the November 2016 issue of Suffolk Norfolk Life Magazine
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