[Sca-cooks] scallops

Elaine Koogler kiridono at gmail.com
Sun Apr 19 07:57:10 PDT 2009

OK...I guess I didn't know what dry scallops were as well.  I believe that
the ones we had were dry, then...they browned nicely without overcooking and
were VERY tasty!  One of these days I'll have to try bay scallops...and will
get them from my fishmonger rather than our supermarket.  Thanks for asking,
Stefan...and for answering, Master A!


On Sun, Apr 19, 2009 at 7:50 AM, Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius <
adamantius1 at verizon.net> wrote:

> For US marketing, scallops are generally processed on board ship, and the
> only part that makes it to shore and your fish market, supermarket or local
> restaurant are the trimmed adductor muscle of a much larger and more complex
> shellfish. In most of the civilized world, as these things are measured,
> this is not the case.
> Frequently, the scallop meat is treated with some chemical (exactly what
> escapes me) that causes them to absorb water, which allegedly keeps them
> fresh longer, improves their flavor and texture, and generally fights the
> good fight. Allegedly. In reality what it does is increase the weight of an
> item sold by the pound at the expense of flavor and texture. Such scallops
> are known as wet-packed or wet scallops. For some applications, such as
> sauteing and grilling, where the uncoated scallop is expected to brown, it's
> a lot more difficult to do this without overcooking it, because the scallop
> keeps leaking moisture all over the pan or grill, creating a blanket of
> steam and preventing the sweet meat from really touching the hot surface
> properly.
> AFAIK, all frozen scallops are wet-packed. However, aficionados of fresh
> scallops prefer dry-packed scallops. They don't keep as well, and are
> sometimes a bit smaller, but of course it's nice to know when your fish is
> going bad, they taste better when fresh, and they respond better to those
> certain types of cooking.
>  The only ones I remember seeing were frozen or fresh in plastic wrapped
>> trays. Usually I see larger ones, inch and a half in diameter? which are sea
>> scallops and smaller, cheaper ones about an inch in diameter called "bay
>> scallops".
> Under the right circumstances, the best bay scallops, while generally
> smaller, are neither cheaper nor of any lesser quality (in fact the
> contrary) than sea scallops. Probably my first exposure to dry-packed
> scallops was on my ill-fated single day working at the Grand Central Oyster
> Bar, when the executive chef handed me a pan with a few sauteed bay scallops
> left in it after filling a plate, and said, "Here, taste that." I did, and
> asked why he had added so much honey to them, and if it was to facilitate
> browning. He said he had added salt and clarified butter; that's just what
> scallops taste like.
> Adamantius

More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list