National Baked Scallops Day is on March 12 every year. Deep-fried, sauteed, baked — how do you like your scallops? This delicious seafood is a crowd pleaser both at home and in restaurants everywhere. And for good reasons. They’re delicious, low in fat, and taste great with all kinds of side dishes. Scallops sauteed in butter make our hearts flutter. But you know what’s even better? Baked scallops. Crispy golden on the outside. Tender bites on the inside. Utter dinner satisfaction!
History of National Baked Scallops Day
Few things can compare to the sweet, rich taste of scallops. It’s easily one of America’s favorite seafood dishes today. But you’ll be surprised to know that this wasn’t always the case.
In the 17th century, people in America didn’t like the flavor of scallop meat. Its oddly sweet taste was unappealing to the general palate back then. Fishing communities in the Northern Atlantic preferred oysters, lobster, and clams over scallops. Although people harvested wild Atlantic scallops for food, their shells were far more appealing, not the meat.
Tastes evolved with time, and scallops began receiving more appreciation in the U.S. by the 19th century. The earliest written recipe for scallops was published in “Miss Beecher’s Domestic Receipt Book” in 1846. The recipe called for lightly stewing or sauteing scallops.
In the decades that followed, scallop recipes and dishes were everywhere. Recipe experimentation called for frying, stuffing, pickling, and steaming. However, the versatile, easy-to-cook scallop lent itself well to most cooking methods. By the 1930s, scallops were an inseparable part of the U.S. diet. Expectedly, they were a favorite of the people in coastal cities and towns. Delicious fried scallops at seaside shacks became regular fare.
Scallops soon began featuring in menus of French restaurants by the mid-20th century. Around this time, the Coquille St. Jacques found a massive fan following in fine dining restaurants across America. The dish combines scallops in its shell with butter, shallots, herbs, cream, and cheese.
A fine-dining seafood restaurant without scallops seems almost inconceivable today. Every establishment has its own take — provencal, pan-seared, or even ceviche. But baking scallops are an excellent way to elevate this shellfish at home. So if you’re in the mood for a fancy dinner with none of the hassles, baked scallops are the way to go.
National Baked Scallops Day timeline
America prefers lobster, clams, and oysters to the unusual taste of scallops.
Things start to change when “Miss Beecher’s Domestic Receipt Book” mentions a recipe for lightly stewed and sauteed scallops.
The delicious scallop becomes a staple part of the American diet, especially in coastal communities.
French restaurants introduce buttery-creamy scallop dishes like the Coquille St. Jacques.
National Baked Scallops Day FAQs
Is there a National Scallop Day?
National Baked Scallops Day is on March 12 every year. It’s a day when we celebrate scallops — one of the most popular shellfish delicacies in the world.
Are sea scallops really scallops?
Sea scallops are three times larger than bay scallops. They are as tender as bay scallops, although slightly on the chewier side.
What goes with scallops for dinner?
You can pair scallops with various side dishes. They go well with pasta, rice, greens, potatoes, peas, and beans.
National Baked Scallops Day Activities
Bake some scallops
Inviting people over for a scallop dinner is the best way to celebrate. Cook your favorite scallop recipe. Alternatively, look up baked shallot recipes online — from lemon garlic and creamy parmesan to spicy baked scallops.
Go scallop shopping
Take a trip down to the fish market or wharf if you live near the sea. It’s a trip that can offer rich insight and perspective into where our food comes from. Shop some fresh produce and come back with a renewed appreciation for food.
Visit a favorite restaurant
On National Baked Scallops Day, show your local restaurants some extra love. Make a beeline to your favorite clam shack or restaurant, and go all out!
5 Important Facts About Mussels
They have beards
Mussel beards or ‘byssus’ help secure them to solid surfaces where they continue growing.
Mussels keep oceans healthy
A single mussel removes sediment and phytoplankton from 5.2 gallons of seawater each day.
They pack a punch of iron
Mussels contain more iron than steak and keep us fuller for longer.
You can eat them unopened
Mussels that don’t open during cooking aren’t off — they just have stronger adductor muscles.
Their gender determines the color
Female mussels are orange, whereas male mussels are creamy white.
Why We Love National Baked Scallops Day
Scallops are not only delicious but also a good sustainable choice. They’re native to most environments and can be one of the most sustainable seafood purchases you make. We suggest researching scallop farming in your area so you can make informed decisions.
Quick, nutritious meals for the win
There's no time like the present to stay committed to eating healthy. Scallops are nutritious and super easy to cook. So we’re reaffirming those healthy eating goals on National Baked Scallops Day.
An excuse to visit the sea
Some of us won’t end up cooking, no matter how hard we try. So today is perfect for a long overdue trip to a favorite seaside shack.
National Baked Scallops Day dates