Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Blue-eyed Beauties

One of the true pleasures of living near the sea is being able to find and eat fresh shellfish and other sea food. Bay scallops, also called Blue-eyed scallops may be one of the most favored and sought after of shellfish. Small, tender and sweet they make wonderful eating. When I was a child growing up on Cape Cod bay scallops were plentiful but these days they have become a much rarer find and are very expensive. It used to be that they would wash up on local beaches by the thousands after a good storm and the locals would be ready with buckets in hand to run along the shore to scoop up as many as they could as the tide receded. Sadly those days are long gone.

Bay scallops prefer eel grass beds and our eel grass beds are being overtaken by invasive seaweeds, polluted by boat fuels, septic overflows and other lovely things and overfishing as well.

If you are lucky enough to find a live scallop you will see its ring of bright blue eyes. Place it in a bucket of water and you will see it "swim" as it propels itself backwards by opening and slamming shut its shell.

Check south side beaches for scallop shells during the winter.

Oh, and don't forget the true locals say "scollup" not "scaaallop."

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