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Scallops are one of the largest and tastiest of edible mussels.
One of the scallop's distinctive features are its many eyes. They are located along the edges of its shell, lined up like pearls.
Scallops can neither crawl nor dig. Like oysters, they have a central adductor muscle that they use to quickly open and close their shell, enabling them to swim by the recoil principle. As they swim around, this muscle fibre is much stronger than it is in oysters.

Cooking methods

Fresh mussels should be heavy and closed. To open them, position them with the flat shell on top and work a knife around the inside of the top shell, then lift up the flatter shell. All the black innards and the beard are removed. Only the cylindrical, white muscle between the valves, also called the nut, is used.The nut of the scallop is best when gently pan-fried or grilled in its decorative shell. However, it can also be gratinated in a sauce or topped with a hard cheese mixture.
Diehard fans even eat fresh scallops raw or just very briefly tossed in a hot frying pan.

Flavour and texture

The texture of the nut is very firm, yet soft and succulent. It tastes nutty to slightly sweet.
It often has a mild and pleasant hint of the sea. Mussels filter their food from the seawater, so this sea taste differs greatly depending on the current and salt content.
Scallops have a rather delicate and subtle flavour. It is best not to over-season mussels when cooking, as this overwhelms their natural flavour.

Fishing method

In coastal fishing, dredges are used to catch wild mussels on the ocean floor. Towed along by a boat, the teeth on the bottom of the dredge dislodge the mussels, which are scooped up into the net.