Diver Scallops

nicko

Founder of Cheftalk.com
Staff member
4,314
351
Joined Oct 5, 2001
One of my favorite seafoods is Scallops. Although as a chef I have prepared scallops many times, I have never worked with Diver Scallops. Just curious what some of the more notable differences are from others who have worked with them.
 
221
11
Joined Apr 24, 2001
Now that my mouth finally stopped watering, I might be able to type this post. After having cooked and eaten diver scallops, I don't ever want to go back to the other ones.

Diver Scallops are completely fresh and very perishable. So make sure you have the best source. The only processing they are supposed to undergo is being shucked from the shell and placed in the bucket in which you receive them. The other ones are flash frozen on the boat as soon as they are shucked. Prior to freezing, they are mixed with some kind of solution to keep plump and maintain texture once they are thawed. Notice that these always say scallop product on the packaging. Thus diver scallops are dryer and more yellow looking than the other ones. You never have to truly drain diver scallops the way you have to drain the other ones. I think that diver scallops taste sweeter, too, but I am not sure whether that's because I am willing them to be. I like to get my cast iron really hot and sear the diver scallops with a little salt and pepper. I serve them around tender greens (snow pea shoots, or spinach, or chinese broccoli) sauteed with garlic and a little oyster sauce. Or I like snow peas or sugar snap peas sauteed with oyster mushrooms, a little garlic and a touch of oyster sauce.

I think they would also be delicious as a filling inside a phyllo purse with a chopped spinach and tiny bit of crisped bacon. Not too fancy because I want the folks who are eating these to know they are getting a premium product.
 

isa

3,236
11
Joined Apr 4, 2000
I love the way they serve scallops in France, the corral (corail in French) the orangey muscle is still attach to it. It's really really good. Wonder why they never sell them that way here.
 
4,508
32
Joined Jul 31, 2000
Hi Iza :)

In fact you can purchase scallops with there roe attached,But here on the Northeast Diver scallops run a tight season,Only November thru Late April or early may.I think that you can drag for scallops year round,but you have to be over 2 or 3 miles out .Also you have to be pretty good freinds with the right people to get your hands on them still in the shell.

Monpetitchoux mentioned that the scallop is to be shucked and put in a bucket and that is that, Very true....But the "Diver Scallop" can only be called a "Diver Scallop" if they are "hand" picked by divers

The Diver scallops that I buy on occasion are from Maine. I believe they are the finest of all the scallops,Plump,sweet,and the texture of a firm marshmellow.Also because they are hand picked instead of draged thet are less gritty.I have read before that since the scallops are hand picked the divers are to leave the smaller ones behind and pick only the larger ones, This will give the smaller scallops a chance to develope. Unlike large commercial fishing boats that drag and take up anything in its path.The first time I had diver scallops was at the Gothem bar in grill in New York,2 of them were simply pan seared,still opac (sp?)one placed ontop of the other with a healty spoonful of osetra on top and a lemon/tarragon infused olive oil drizzel. Man were they incredible. Daniel Boulud I would say made them famouse when he was at Le cirque. He would slice the scallop and then place a thin slice of black truffle in them and re assemble the scallop and wrap them in phyllo. Good stuff :)

One key word to remember when buying scallops is "Dry" These are not treated,wet scallops are pretty nasty,no taste,the texture falls apart when cooked and they shrike like the dickens

cc
 
211
10
Joined May 18, 2001
I think the best way to get scallops is in the shell. (Of course then you have to shuck them yourself, bhut that can be fun?) At the last restaurant I spent time at, I had the pleasure of shucking 6 to 12 kg of scallops a day. They came in the back door in a wooden case.

Once opened, each scallop was full of sand. (I guess this is why they weighed so much!)

After shucking they were washed thoroughly and then drained, uncovered, in a hotel pan in the walk-in box, oftne overnight.

By the time they were used, the scallops were dry to the touch, but still shiny.

I have had bad luck in purchasing scallops marked "diver scallops", which come shipped by air from Massechusetts to California. They have been expensive and inconsistent in quality and taste. I have had better luck with one of the local Chinese supermarkets where they sell the scallops for $8.99 per pound. These never shrink or give off water when cooking. Also, they smell like scallops!
 
2,550
13
Joined Mar 13, 2001
Nice photos Bouland!

Iza,

You might try this address for scallops:

Marché Transatlantique
4709 rue St-Denis
Montréal
Tél: (514) 287-3530

There is also La Mer, HERE


:p

[ June 15, 2001: Message edited by: Kimmie ]
 

isa

3,236
11
Joined Apr 4, 2000
Thanks Kimmie, I haven't been to La mer in such a long time. Thing I'll pay them a visit tomorrow. :)
 
63
11
Joined Jun 4, 2001
Having been a fan of scallops for a long time and them being a great seller in my restaurant ive seen a lot of different types and preparations the best to buy are obviously diver caught but they must be in the shell the reason there the best is they have no grit in as they,re not trauled along the sea bed the only draw back is they are usually double the price here in England they cost £1. 50 each price fluctuates though on weather .At the moment im using fresh pre cut divers at £32.50 pre 2 kg tub as I know the source its ok but otherwise they could be cut washed packed and sold as divers it has been known have you tried queenies they are lovely happy cooking as all good cooks just buy the best and cook simply
 

nicko

Founder of Cheftalk.com
Staff member
4,314
351
Joined Oct 5, 2001
Hey Cape (and everyone else of course),

I guess what I meant by the statement that I have never used Diver Scallops was that I have never used the ones that come in the shell with the roe attached. A while back I rember reading about Trotter who was using beautiful large one pound diver scallops. Getting the large ones packed dry in bucket, yes I have, but never the ones in the shell. So I am curious on who has actually purchased authentic diver scallops (hand picked) still in the shell. Curious about tips and handling techniques.

On a side not a while back ChefTalk did an interview with a scallop diver Tim Hunt which was very interesting. You can check it out here:Interview with Scallop Diver Tim Hunt
 
Top Bottom