[Sca-cooks] scallops

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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