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New England Dialect | How to Pronounce "Scallop"

New England Dialect | How to Pronounce “Scallop”
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Back on land, after a brisk encounter with a scraper to remove barnacles and other hangers-on, dozens of spiffed-up adult scallops sit in a holding tank. Some chat amiably with their companions, while others seem more interested in the world outside, gazing up with a row of unblinking and attentive eyes. Occasionally, in a surge of ebullience or impatience, a maverick scallop spins off on a rambunctious, cartwheeling carouse.The Taylor Scallop Company is allowed by law to sell scallops year-round, but the off-season scallops, though certainly good, do not match the cold-water harvest. Taylor Bays, as these scallops are known, are sold live in their shell and are intended to be eaten whole. They are sold in a number of fish markets and are well worth seeking out.

In cooking bay scallops, as in everything, Janet Aaron demands simplicity, directness, no frills. “Bay scallops stand on their own,” she announces. “Pat them dry. Fry them lightly in butter. A hot pan, but don’t brown them. A couple of minutes at most. Just until they are opaque. Serve them with lemon. Salt and pepper. That’s it.”

She pauses sternly. “Well,” she relents, “you may have a glass of dry white wine with them.”

Some people do more with their scallops. For example, scallops are excellent smoked. The delicacy of the flesh might make such treatment seem too brutal — and in the wrong hands it is — but there is at least one source of very good smoked scallops: Ducktrap River Fish Farm of Maine. This company cold-smokes scallops in oak and apple wood. They are wonderful in salads and may be kept two weeks in the refrigerator.

Usually when we think of scallops, most of us are really thinking of the sweet plug of ivory-colored meat that is, in fact, only the scallop’s powerful abductor muscle. With the exception of Taylor Bays, most bay scallops are sold shucked. All sea scallops are. What has happened to the rest of it? It has simply been thrown out, a “sacrilege,” according to the great food writer Waverly Root. Be that as it may, this is the New England custom, and when I suggest to my advisor that the whole animal should be consumed Janet shakes her head and barks, “Well , I never heard of such a thing!” I persist in this heresy, having myself enjoyed scallops whole, both cooked and raw. Janet peers at me with troubled eyes and grumbles, “I don’t know if I can get used to this idea. I don’t think I like it.”

Now that you know how to pronounce scallop, maybe you’d like to try cooking with the whole shellfish. If so, here are a few recipes that use all the edible parts.

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