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The majority of scallops are sourced by dredging. As well as devastating the sea bed these scallops die before they get to the shore. Ask your fishmonger for hand picked scallops which will remain alive until time for cooking and in most cases are delivered to market within 4 – 6 hours (dredged scallops can remain in a boat at sea for up to a week!)
A scallop takes 4 years to grow to around 100ml or four inches which is the perfect size to eat. At the market checking for freshness is common sense, fresh fish shouldn’t smell fishy. The scallop should look bright and shiny rather than grey with bits of grit and sand, buy alive for best taste. Eat a scallop within 3 days for best flavour.
I think scallops are best enjoyed in their half shell with a bit of garlic butter and a dash of white wine, cooked under the grill.
Darren Brown is the owner of Shellseekers, supplier of fresh fish to top London restaurants including Hix Oyster and Chop house and Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen. Darren is very passionate about sourcing fish in an environmentally responsible way and delivers his produce to his market store in Borough Market within four hours of it coming out of the sea. Visit Darren’s stall at Borough market to see what he has foraged from the seabed this time.