Video:How to Buy Scallopswith Heidi Dehncke
Learning how to buy scallops is easy with these tips. Here, learn how to buy scallops that are tasty and fresh.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Buy ScallopsHi, I'm Erica Wides from Chef SmartyPants.com, here for About.com. So, I want to talk to you about scallops.
What Are Scallops?Scallops are bi-valve crustacean. They're really popular. But there's a couple things you need to know when you're going to buy scallops. And, if you're informed about this, you'll wind up buying a much better product.
Categories of ScallopsScallops fall into two categories. So, we have Bay Scallops, which are these little teeny guys, and then we have Sea Scallops which are the bigger ones. Now, Sea Scallops can actually grow to be quite large. Two, three inches across. And those are actually referred to as diver scallops. Cause those are hand harvested by scuba divers off the coast of Maine and they're very large.
Size of a ScallopThis is about the average size for a sea scallop and bay scallops can be like this or even a little bit smaller. Sometimes they're very petite.
Best Practices for How to Buy ScallopsNow, when you are buying scallops, what you want to look for, particularly with the sea scallops, is something called a Dry Pack Scallop. Dry pack are the superior scallop. The reason for this is that wet pack scallop is a scallop that has been soaked in a solution of water and sodium tri-poly phosphate that makes them absorb a huge amount of water. That they're stored in. That makes them a lot heavier so the store can charge you more. You're really just paying for water weight. It also bleaches them out and makes them very pale. And it makes them kind of water logged and soggy.
So, if you';re going out and you're going to the fish market for sea svcallops and they look wet, they're packed in water, they're sitting in a bucket, they're very white, those are wet pack scallops. They're not the best ones.
Dry pack scallops, on the other hand, are just harvested out of the shell and sold as is. They're not treated, they're not soaked in water. They have a dryer texture to them. They'll actually be a little bit sticky to the touch. They're much firmer and they're color is more of this pale ivory color. They're going to have a much better flavor and a much better texture and you're not paying for watwer weight and you're not ingesting chemicals. More importantly.
Bay scallops are almost always sold wet pack. So, it's very hard to avoid that. But, sometimes you can find them dry poack, if you have a very good fish purveyor. They might be able to get them for you.
Now, most often when you get scallops they'll be sold with what is called the foot attached to them. It's a little muscle that the scallop uses to hold onto its shell. Because it lives inside of a shell that opens and closes. It's an doctor muscle. You want to remove that aductor muscle before you cook them because it can be really tough and chewey. All of them have it. The Sea scallops have it and the bay scallops have it. On them, it's this little tiny white tab. And you just peel it right off. It comes right off.
That's the difference between Bay Scallops and Sea Scallops, when you're going to buy scallops.
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