scallopsIt’s a great time of year for scallops – they are fat and juicy straight out of the cold waters of the South Coast. This week our scallops are from Rye which is renowned for it’s scallops and even has a Scallop week starting on the 20th February.

Scallops are the only bivalve that can swim – by opening and closing it’s shell to power itself through the water. They migrate in large schools throughout the year, moving to deeper water in the winter to better feeding grounds.

While hand-dived scallops are the preferred method for sustainable reasons, the  Rye Bay fishermen find that during the winter scallop season, 70′-80′ is the minimum depth that scallops can be found in this area which does make hand diving impractical. But with the restrictions on size, season and limited boat capacity, the Rye fishing industry continues to harvest annually without any noticeable reduction in stock.

Scallops go well with strong flavours and are often paired with chorizo, black pudding or bacon (I would recommend Stansted Homemade Back Bacon). However, they are also delicious with Asian flavours such as ginger, coriander, lemongrass and lime. They should be seared over a high heat leaving the middle almost raw.  If you over-cook them, they become tough and chewy.