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A recent scallop ceviche made from a local diver harvest. Full report here.

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Finally got to read your thread. Excellent! I really love scallops and we get very good scallops in Scotland. Unfortunately, not everybody in the household likes them so I don't get to eat them often. I very much like the roe, but it does cook more quickly then the muscle.

I take it that the scallops are always removed from the shell for sale in the USA?

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I take it that the scallops are always removed from the shell for sale in the USA?

They are indeed. Scallops are harvest primarily by dragging a dredge from the stern of a boat, a bit invasive but effective. They are picked out of the dredge and shucked on-board using a knife like this which neatly follows the contours of the large scallops common to the area.

It is required to reach port with ONLY the abductor muscle and no other part of the scallop animal. Clouds of seagulls follow scallopers into port as deckhands cast the roe and other debris overboard. If the harvest is prodigious, boats will idle in the harbour and finish shucking their scallop haul.

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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No,

That type of scallop is not native here. They are plentuful south of Cape Cod on the US Eastern Seaboard. I did find a personal web page about diving for scallops in Florida and they look a lot like those in your picture. Scallops here are much bigger. The meat alone is the size of those shells. Gulf of Maine scallops can get to 10 inches in diameter. :shock:

Divers are required to land scallops in accordance to the same law as draggers. When I went diving for scallops, we went out to a spot where a power cable lies between two islands. The nautical chart depicts a 50 yard area that is prohibited to draggers. Great spot to dive for scallops! Upon surfacing, we shuck (open and clean) each scallop and make sure there is nothing else but the allowed meats on board. If we have a particularly huge shell ("platter"), we'll keep it as a souvenir at no consequence.

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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The are two species of scallop harvested commercially in Scotland, the Great Scallop (Pecten maximus and the Queen Scallop (Chlamys opercularis). The former is the one in the photograph. These have shells that are mostly 10 -16 cm wide (but bigger specimens can be found), the muscle meat is typically 1-1.5 inchs across. Queenies are much smaller.

Interesting difference between USA an UK/Australia. We are told that if you are serious about getting quality scallops, always buy them in the shell, the issue being that shucked scallops absorb water and this is a bad thing. In Melbourne, the markets will advertise scallops as being 'un-soaked/wetted', and these have cream coloured flesh, rather then the white flesh of the soaked scallops. Do you think it makes any difference?

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The various food columnists and TV food show personalities have been advising the consumer to buy "dry pack" scallops. Wet--packed scallops are ones that have not been treated with "sodium triopolyphospate" to ensure moisure retention after schucking.

Dry-packed scallops are left untreated and packed on ice.

I live a few blocks from the ocean, and go to a fish store a couple of miles from the ocean, but all the fish at the store come from Philadelphia. The days when when you could go to the docks along the inlet in Atlantic City and buy fish that had just been unloaded from the boats out back of the store are long gone.

Its been years since I was able to buy fresh bay scallops. When I asked the guy at the fish store about them he said "They cost too much". When I moved here they were cheaper than regular scallops since they don't travel well, and frozen ones are impossible to cook, unless you also like sauteed pencil erasers.

edited for a typo

Edited by Arey (log)

"A fool", he said, "would have swallowed it". Samuel Johnson

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Tiny shrimp.

I have seen these sold all over Europe in various forms. At the Rialto market in Venice, I have seen them hopping like fleas as they are packed into paper cones, but here are two examples from the last few months of eating.

Morecambe Bay Potted Shrimp. Potting was once a great art in the UK. This method of preservation was used for beef, fish (especially char from the Lake district) and these shrimp. The shrimp cooked in butter and spices before being potted.

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shrimp fritters from Sanlucar (Andalucia). These shrimp are mixed with chickpea and wheat flour then fried in olive oil

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I've seen a cooler of those live tiny shrimp at the Vietnamese outdoor market here.  I have no idea what their name is, so I've never been able to search for a recipe.  Any idea?

Sorry - I have no idea of the Vietnamese name for these as I am not lucky enough to have shops that sell them. The best thing to do would be to ask the people in the shop to write down the name or even suggest a recipe.

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Poached and served with a Normandy sauce (cider, creme fraiche etc)

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Can you post this recipe? :raz:

Bit of a bastard of a classic. I did by eye, so I can't be too exact.

One cup of fish stock (made from giant halibut bits) was reduced with 1 1/2 cups of Normandy cider and a finely chopped shallot to about 3/4 of a cup (until is was thickened and looked a little glossy). One cup of creme fraiche was added to this and further reduced until there was a cup of sauce. This was strained. It should be a pale blonde sauce, but the cider changed colour during the reduction, so it turned out a little brown. Sauted mushrooms are added later (and traditionally, mussels, of which the juices can be used to enrich the sauce).

Fish is cooked in whatever way you see fit. I find that for me the best way is to loosely wrap in in foil with butter, aromatics and wine/cider and steam it in the fish kettle. In the oven also works well. Wrapped in wet newspaper and cooked on a BBQ is also excellent. Anyway, I used the former method as I wanted moist flesh and the skin intact. Any juices can be added to the sauce, which is corrected for salt and used at this point.

That's it, takes less then an hour.

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  • 3 weeks later...

This Grayling (Thymallus thymallus) was caught on the river Teviot (Scottish borders). Related to salmon and trout, they are noted for their faint smell thyme when fresh. They are also quite pretty, especially the high dorsal fin.

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Bit of a rushed job, simply fried in butter (not even clarified, horror). The flesh of these fish is quite pale and tastes similar to trout (brown).

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  • 1 month later...

Lobsters from a recent holiday. This is the western Atlantic species Homarus gammarus, which is very similar to the Eastern Atlantic/North American species Homarus americanus. Although, there is some colour variation, the latter tends to have much more red colouration on the underside of the claws and the fine legs, while the former has more blue highlights. Even in Scotland it is the North American species that I see most often for sale (alive), imported from Canada.

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The blue highlights are startling. Once in a blue moon (sorry!) a lobsterman here in maine catches a pure blue lobster in their traps. Apparently the odds are one in 2million of getting a blue one. They build an aquarium for it when they find one. Here is a picture of one.

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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Adam. is there a discernible difference in taste between the two species?  I've never tasted them side by side.

Difficult to compare the two side by side meaningfully as good flavour in lobster varies from individual to individual. All of the North American lobsters I have had have been imported for instance. But, there basic flavour is similar I would say. Different to spiny rock lobsters ('crayfish') which I an use to in Australia for instance.

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The blue highlights are startling.  Once in a blue moon (sorry!) a lobsterman here in maine catches a pure blue lobster in their traps.  Apparently the odds are one in 2million of getting a blue one.  They build an aquarium for it when they find one.  Here is a picture of one.

I think that there are two main pigment groups in lobsters, reddish and blues. The blue is heat sensative, hence they 'turn' red with cooking. I would guess that blue lobsters lack normal amounts of red pigment. They are most likely quite pale when cooked?

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Actually, they say blue lobsters turn the usual red when cooked.

I see some scallop coral (roe) attached to your scallops. Someone was looking for a picture of that when I did the Scallop Divers thread a while back. This part of the animal is illegal in the USA owing to it's high perishability.

Edited by johnnyd (log)

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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