October is a treasure trove of a month for celebrating seafood, and what better way to start the feast than by celebrating National Fried Scallops Day on October 2? When cooked the right way, scallops become the perfect melt-in-your-mouth delicacy, taking you on a food ride of oceanic excellence. Scallops belong to the Pectinidae family of mollusks. They can swim in the water by rapidly closing and opening their shells using a muscle, which is usually the most consumed part by humans. Scallops are enjoyed in a variety of ways (i.e. in soups, pasta, or sushi), but one of the most popular and loved scallops are the ones fried in butter and a mixture of herbs and other flavors.
History of National Fried Scallops Day
While all our attention will be on some delicious fried scallops this National Fried Scallops Day, did you know that it is usually oysters that tend to get all the love whenever shellfish is being talked about? Yes, oysters are great, but scallops are pretty on par with them. Scallops have been around for a long time now. They have been found in fossil forms that are as old as 300 million years. The marine bivalve mollusks come from the general family of Pectinidae. Their cosmopolitanism means that they can be found in every ocean in the world, making them a good source for studying the science of oceans. Scallops are known to travel short distances, but they are also capable of traveling great distances by simply moving their shells rapidly on the ocean floor. Apart from their delicious meat, scallops are also appreciated and prized for their aesthetically colorful shells. Many vacationers and beach enthusiasts collect the shells to keep as prized possessions in their collections.
Scallops started gaining popularity in the U.S. in the 19th century only, as before that the food item wasn’t considered to be the choice food for many. When people started immigrating to America in the 1600s, they found the shores to be rich with food, ranging from shellfish to cod, and it was the latter that was harvested more. Clams, lobsters, shrimps, and oysters were the most popular of the shellfish, while mussels and scallops were not a favorite due to their unconventional sweet flavors. However, as more and more people came to America, scallops recipes started evolving, and by the 1920s, the food item had become a staple in American households and on restaurant menus. People enjoyed it by sauteing it and frying it in butter. Many also liked it baked, stuffed, and pickled.
National Fried Scallops Day timeline
Scientists discover fossilized scallops, giving evidence of their presence on planet earth.
A recipe of sauteing and stewing scallops appears in “Miss Beecher’s Domestic Receipt Book,” which is recorded as one of the earliest books to have a recipe for scallops in it.
The evolution of new scallops recipes takes the food item to levels of fame it never experienced before.
Many French restaurants start serving unique scallops dishes like Coquille St. Jacques.
National Fried Scallops Day FAQs
Is a scallop a mollusk?
Yes, a scallop is a mollusk. To be more precise, it is a bivalve mollusk (like oysters and clams), which is a shellfish that has a two-part hinged shell containing soft invertebrates.
Where are scallops found?
Scallops are found in all oceans of the world, especially in the Indo-Pacific region. Specific species of scallops will be found in specific areas. For instance, bay scallops are only found in bays and shallow waters.
How can you tell a real scallop from a fake scallop?
Real scallops will have distinct fibers running lengthwise, having the same thickness all around their edges. On the other hand, a fake scallop will most likely have fewer fibers and will be uneven.
National Fried Scallops Day Activities
Fried scallops are one of the simplest dishes out there, but it does require a certain level of cooking experience to prepare it properly. It’s very easy to overcook it, and if you do that, you will have scallops that are rubbery and chewy to eat. Perfectly cooked scallops simply melt in your mouth. So try your hand at frying some scallops.
Visit a clam shack
You may have tried fried scallops from a five-star restaurant, but have you tried one at a good ol’ clam shack? Oftentimes, the fried scallops being served at such places come from freshly caught produce, so the flavors will hit differently in the best way possible.
Try a new scallops dish
Fried scallops are a classic in their own right. The dish’s versatility also means that it goes great with many other food recipes. Try your hand at pasta or soup with scallops as the star of the dish.
5 Facts About Scallops That Will Blow Your Mind
Rings on their shell indicate their age
The rings on a scallop shell point to its age, with a ring being added for each year of its life.
Shell is always partially open
A scallop shell will always remain partially open, unlike oysters or mussels.
Symbol of birth
Scallop shells are a symbol of birth in Christianity and Greek mythology.
Unlike their cousins like clams, scallops are one of the cleanest shellfish out there as their muscles do not filter water.
Eyes on shells edges
Scallops have around 50 eyes around the edges of their shells, using them to detect light and movement around them.
Why We Love National Fried Scallops Day
It’s a celebration of scallops
Scallops might have been underrated in the past, but today we celebrate them with full fanfare. Their amazing qualities relating to their biological features and movements are fodder for fascination and imagination, so much so that, apart from the food world, scallops have become an important part of religion, culture, art, and literature.
It’s a celebration of natural cosmopolitanism
If humans won’t understand the value of cosmopolitanism, then who will? Cosmopolitanism has been of immense benefit to many around the world. From experiencing new cultures and languages to getting exposed to newer perspectives, it has shown us how things are meant to be. Scallops, which are just one example of nature’s cosmopolitanism, show us how to adapt according to the environment we are in.
It’s a celebration of food variety
Because scallops are found in every corner of the world, the ways you can enjoy them are countless. Have it in butter or with soup, pasta, or stew — the choices are endless. There’s something for everyone here.
National Fried Scallops Day dates