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Amazing Facts About Scallops 2017-05-19T20:16:29+00:00

Amazing Facts About Scallops

We only serve the freshest scallops at Mussel Inn.

  • Unlike the mussel and the oyster, the scallop cannot close and seal its shell completely and so can only survive in the deeper, full salinity sea water. Their intolerance of fresh water means that they are not found in intertidal waters except at exceptionally low spring tides.
  • Scallops have eyes embedded at the base of the sensory tentacles that run along the outer edges of their upper and lower shells. These enable them to perceive and respond to shadow and movement.
  • Each ring on a scallop’s shell represents a year of growth, although a ring might also record a stressful incident in the scallop’s life.
  • Dating back to 400BC, scallops have played a prominent part in man’s religious, artistic and architectural development. The shell features in numerous works of art, the most famous example being Botticelli’s masterpiece The Birth of Venus. In Greek mythology, Aphrodite (the Greek equivalent to the Roman goddess Venus) was born and arose from the sea foam that resulted from Cronus (the new order of gods) flinging the severed genitals of Uranus (the old order of gods) into the ocean. A giant scallop shell then carried her to the island of Cyprus where her reign began.
  • In early Christian times, the scallop shell was often incorporated into baptismal fonts as a symbol of rebirth.
  • A scallop shell was carried by pilgrims to Santiago de Compostella and served both as a symbol of the pilgrimage as well as a drinking cup. Santiago de Compostella was built on the traditional burial site of St James the Great Sanctus (Jacobus in Latin) and became the third most important pilgrimage in Christendom after Jerusalem and Rome.
  • In 1280 Marco Polo recorded that scallops were sold in the market in Hangchow, China.
  • The French for the King Scallop is coquille St Jacques (shell of St James). This is also the name given to a famous recipe for scallops served on a shell in a creamy wine sauce.
  • The scallop shell was the traditional emblem of St James the Great and became part of heraldry when those who had been on the pilgrimage incorporated the scallop shell into their coat of arms.
  • The scallop was taken from the coat of arms of John Wesley by the Methodists and adopted as their emblem.
  • The fossilised scallop shell also forms the logo of a well-known oil company.