Common Scallop and Variegated Scallop

The Common scallops (Pectem maximus) are bivalves that can measure from 10 to 15 centimeters (4-6 “) with a concave and a flat shell, with symmetrical ears of the same size, with a clearer color in the concave shell. . The gonadal area has two parts, one orange female and one whitish, which is the male.
The Galician scallop is considered the best and therefore reaches the highest market value. Comes from catches made in Galician waters with rigging called scallop rake, especially in the area of Cambados (Pontevedra), within the plans of official farms subject to rigorous sanitary controls. Fresh scallops are also imported from Andalusia and other countries. Also it is cultivated in batea.
It is always advisable to remove the hepatopancreas (darkest area of the body of the animal) only part where toxin can accumulate. It is one of the stars of Galician gastronomy. Battered with flavor-laden scrambles, when the scallop needs nothing but herself to assert itself. With a light layer of breadcrumbs and baked, battered and fried or in empanada are all a delicacy. Can be canned but not common.


Other bivalves are the Variegated  (Chlamys varia) and the Queen (Aequipecten opercularis before Chlamys opercularis). They belong to the same family as the scallops (Argopecten) but are smaller than these and the ears of their shells are irregular, more marked this difference in the variegaed . The variegated also differs from the volandeira in that its shell has more radii more tightly. U color is dark violet and does not normally exceed six centimeters in length. For its part, the Queen which owes its name to its way of “flying” under water, has a tonality on its back that can be pink in general, although it can be yellow, orange, etc. It is more abundant than the variegated and is marketed under the name of that one, although it is not the same species.
Both species are stuck to the rocks in shallow water (up to about 80 meters deep), and are rich in minerals and nutrients, as they feed on placton. Although small, the meat is sweet and juicy. The zamburiñas and volandeiras, that are classified in two larger sub-families, irradiates Pecten and magellanicus Pecten. To obtain them, they use fishing gear specific to their way of life, such as the “bou de vara” and the scallop rake. The ones presented frozen come from Huelva or are foreign, Portugal, South Africa …
They are prepared to the plate open to the natural one, in the oven, in pie or in preserves, also homemade.

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Montse Gonzalez