All photos/art by Heath Robbins
Scallops are a true New England treat–their very shape is an iconic reminder of beachside fun and shell-hunting summer afternoons. Their real gift, however, is delivered when our waters begin to chill down, for what lies snugly between those grooved, hinged shells is a faintly sweet, buttery nugget with a mild tree-nut flavor.
Perhaps the crowning jewel in this molluscan dynasty is the beloved bay scallop, specifically those from Nantucket. Even raw, they taste like briny pieces of candy. The meat of the bay scallop is about the size of a dime (by contrast, their sea scallop cousins may grow to three inches across), and they cook in two minutes.
The commercial season for Nantucket bays begins November 1 and runs through March. Many fine restaurants feature them on their menus while they’re available–but why not pick up a pound of these ocean wonders and do it yourself?
As with all seafood, buy your scallops from a trusted supplier, whether local or online; note that larger sea scallops are sometimes cut to look like bays, or aren’t handled with the care that these sensitive jewels require. We rely on these folks for pristine quality and excellent service, in person or by mail:
Browne Trading Company
Captain Marden’s Seafoods