What do scallops eat?
A couple weeks ago while traveling to a birthday celebration luncheon someone asked this question, one I'd never heard before. I was one of five ladies going to the event which was roughly a thirty minute drive. Since food was on our minds we got to talking about meals we’ve enjoyed at some of the area’s restaurants, the area being Eureka Springs in northwest Arkansas. Brunch, the best steak house, authentic Mexican food, terrific soup and salad bar, another place for brunch, best margaritas, incomparable chocolate pecan pie, crusty Italian bread with olive oil dipping and my favorite: seafood. That was my contribution to the culinary delights discussion. Specifically, scallops.
Naturally, at least naturally for me, I have a copy of the book, Identifying Shells, written by Fred Woodward. Something I picked up years ago for the obvious purpose of identifying seashells I'd see washed ashore on beaches. For a small book it’s packed with information: basic shell biology, names, both scientific and common, the name of the person who originally ordained a shell to be in a specific classification, habitats and distribution, how they maneuver AND what they eat.
Scallops are bivalves: two parts joined together by an elastic ligament. They're found in all of the world's oceans, never in freshwater. They're considered to be primarily "free-living", with many species capable of rapidly swimming short distances or going a good distance across the ocean floor. Here's a video of one method of locomotion. You don't need the volume up to be entertained.
And the real thing.........
A live opened scallop showing the internal anatomy that you see above: The pale orange circular part is the adductor muscle; the darker orange curved part is the "coral", a culinary term for the ovary or roe.
So another question for you: why are Scalloped potatoes called that? Probably easy to find the answer but I didn't go digging for it. Do you know?