They are the family Pectinidae of bivalve molluscs. Like the true oysters (family Ostreidae), they have a central adductor muscle, and thus their shells have a characteristic central scar marking its point of attachment. However, the adductor muscle of scallops is larger and more developed than that of oysters because they are active swimmers. Their shell shape tends to be highly regular and like the standard image of a shell.
Scallops may be attached to a substrate by a structure called a byssus, or cemented to their substrate (eg. Hinnites spp.). They can also be free living. A scallop can swim by rapidly opening and closing its shell. This method of rapidly opening and closing its shell is also a defense technique, protecting it from any threats.
Scallops in cooking
Scallops are a popular type of shellfish in both Eastern and Western cooking. They are characterised by having two types of meat in one shell: the scallop (white, meaty) and its coral (orange, soft) which is its roe. Dried scallop is known in Oriental cuisine as conpoy.
Scallops are commonly sautéd in butter, or else breaded and deep fried. Scallops are commonly paired with light semi-dry white wines. Generally speaking, when a scallop is prepared, only the adductor muscle is used; the other parts of the scallop surrounding the muscle are generally discarded. Most markets sell scallops already prepared in the shell with only the adductor muscle intact, the rest of the scallop is already discarded. Most commonly, markets in the US sell only the adductor muscle. Other markets - overseas in particular - sell the scallop whole.
In continental cuisine, scallops are often prepared in the form of a quiche or cooked and then set into a savory custard. In Japanese cuisine, scallops may be served in soup or prepared as sashimi or sush.
The French for a scallop is coquille St. Jacques, which means "cockle (or mollusk) of St. James", and that term also refers to a method of cooking and serving them with the coral, on a shell (real or ceramic) in a creamy wine sauce.
Scallops were traditionally caught by dragging the seabed, but now in British seas there is a trade in scuba diving to catch scallops. Dived scalops tend to fetch better prices than dredged scallops because their shells are not damaged as much and there is much less rubbish mixed with the catch. Also, scalop diving merely removes the scallops and does no other damage, but dragging destroys much seabed life and ruins the grazing for many other sea animals in the area.
Soft Shell crab
Queen crab ( snow, opilio)
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