Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius
adamantius1 at verizon.net
Sun Apr 19 10:21:00 PDT 2009
On Apr 19, 2009, at 12:26 PM, Susan Fox wrote:
> Worse yet, fake scallops are punched out of ray wings. To the
> extent that a friend of mine avoids all scallops entirely, being
> allergic to ray [but not scallops]. I want to make her a fine feast
> of scallops from the shell, so she can enjoy.
I've been hearing about this pretty much all my life, but I wonder how
much of it is some sort of urban legend. I'm not saying it's never
been done, but the lore I've heard all my life has not been passed on
in discussions about scallops; it was about skates and rays, which we
used to catch and release as an accidental "trash" fish while going
for things like black sea bass. "You know, I hear they make fake
scallops out of those."
I remember being surprised to see, as an adult, skate featured heavily
in fine French seafood cookery. Equally confusing was being snickered
at by other fishermen for failing to throw back all the useless
pufferfish (to us they were blowfish) we would catch, only to have
them emerge first as an extremely expensive delicacy, and later to be
informed that they were potentially deadly fugu in the hands of the
wrong prep person or cook. Wow. I've been eating poison all this time
and didn't know it! No wonder all those other fishermen thought we
were nuts. It couldn't have been that they were morons, after all.
I guess the bottom line is that I'm familiar enough with skate and ray
meat that I find it hard to believe anyone would be fooled. Maybe when
raw, one disk of slightly fibrous white flesh looks much like another,
but when cooked, it's another story.
The worst travesty on scallops I've ever seen personally were slices
of a rolled-up thin sheet of surimi, coated with breadcrumbs to hide
the manufacturer's perfidy.
"Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls,
when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's
-- Rabbi Israel Salanter
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