What Do Scallops Taste Like?

Scallops are a type of mollusk. They are in the same family as crabs, octopi, and clams. If you order scallops at a restaurant, they are likely going to be in a spherical shape. They are rather expensive as they are in high demand and very healthy. 

The shellfish that is scallops is similar to oysters. They have a hinged shell with muscles and clams. There is a white muscle that opens and closes the shell from the inside, as well as a section called the coral that has an orange tinted color. The white muscle of scallops is the part that we eat.

Scallops taste salty, as they come from the sea. They are also somewhat sweet and buttery. When cooked with seasoning, scallops take on the flavor of the seasoning so they can make for a succulent dinner meal.

Some scallops may have a slightly nutty taste, too. This nuttiness is similar to the taste of hazelnut or almond. Scallops have a very unique, yet mild, flavor, making them a much sought after seafood.

Do Scallops Taste Like Shrimp?

The flavor of scallops is easily comparable to that of shrimp or lobster. Scallops tend to be a little sweeter, though. Scallops have a similar tender texture that shrimp do. They are also pretty mild, like shrimp. They may taste similar but not the same. Chances are, if you like shrimp, you’ll like scallops.

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Do Scallops Taste Fishy?

Scallops, interestingly, do not taste fishy. This is because when you eat scallops, you are eating the adductor muscle that is inside the shell. It is easy to tell that scallops are seafood, but they do not taste overly fishy. Many people are turned away from seafood because of the fishy taste, but scallops do not fall into this category.

Scallops also wonderfully take on the flavor of whatever they are cooked with. So, if you saute or season your scallops, they will have a much more decadent flavor than you may expect.

Scallops Texture

The texture of scallops is often described as rubber-like. Scallops that are prepared correctly should have a soft, fleshy texture. They can also be slightly slimy, but mainly just very chewy. Scallops have the texture of a sea marshmallow.

What Do Bad Scallops Taste Like?

If scallops have gone bad, you will be able to tell before even eating them. Expired scallops will have a smell resembling of ammonia. In addition to the sour smell,  bad scallops will also have a duller color and will be much more slimy in texture.

Upon tasting bad scallops, you will immediately know that they have gone bad because of a sort of metallic taste. The taste of bad scallops is strikingly noticeable. Eating undercooked or expired scallops can give you shellfish poisoning, the symptoms of which are a lot of unpleasant digestive issues. If your scallops seem like they are bad, they should be thrown out to avoid getting sick.

Types of Scallops

There are three different scallops, and they all differ in their flavor and appearance. The sweetest variety of scallops is bay scallops, which have a more rare migration pattern. Bay scallops are only available from October to March.

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Sea scallops are the most common type of scallops, and are available year round. They are not as sweet as bay scallops, but are much bigger. Sea scallops can grow to be up to two inches in diameter. 

A subgenre of sea scallops is diver scallops. These scallops are special because they are gathered by hand by divers. They cost more than even bay scallops because of the effort that goes into harvesting them, and are likely what you eat when you go to a restaurant. 

The third type of scallops is calico scallops. These scallops are found in the South Atlantic, usually from December to May. Calico scallops have much more maze-like shells that are sealed shut. The shells of calico scallops make it much harder to get to the meat inside than the shells of other types of scallops.

What Scallops Look Like

If you have ever rented a place by the beach, you’ve likely been overwhelmed by scallop decor. That fan-shaped shell you see in a nautical themed room is a scallop. The fuel corporation, Shell, has a scallop as its logo. 

Scallops are made of two shells that close, and the interior of these shells is the edible part. The scallops in their shell move around as the shells are hinged together and can open and close. The shells protect the interior scallop.

Buying Scallops

For buying scallops in the store, there are a few things you should know to be sure you are getting the most out of your purchase. If you’re purchasing fresh scallops, their color should be creamy white and beige, and they should be somewhat firm to the touch.

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Scallops should not have a fishy smell or feel overly wet and slimy. If you are buying dry scallops (sea scallops), there should be between ten and twelve in one pound. A benefit of buying dry scallops is that they don’t produce much water when being cooked, because they do not contain any preservatives.

It is best to buy scallops when they’re on sale. The high demand and low supply of scallops makes them a pretty expensive seafood. Buy your scallops from a well-esteemed grocery store to ensure the best quality. Scallops can also be bought frozen, in which case you should make sure they have no ice crystals formed or freezer burn.

Final Thoughts

Scallops are known to be one of the best tasting seafoods. They do not have a fishy taste, like most seafood, because the edible part of scallops is protected by their shell. The texture of scallops should be tender and succulent. They have a mild, somewhat sweet taste that may have hints of nuttiness.