Shellfish Extravaganza - Abalone and Bay Scallops - Together or Seperately
The Meat and Fish Company
Abalone have a long and checkered history in California, having gone from a population surge in the 18th century to near-decimation in recent decades.
In the 19th century, Russian fur traders decimated the population of sea otters, which are the snails' main predator. In their absence, abalone numbers exploded and proceed to vacuum up kelp. By the time American settlers reached California, the place was covered in mollusks—they just didn't know what to do with them. But Chinese and Japanese immigrants did. They began harvesting the abalone, drying them, and sending shipments back to Asia, where the snails are revered for their supposed medicinal and aphrodisiac qualities.
There are as many different ways to prepare abalone meat as there are abalone species—that is, hundreds. It's pretty filling because the meat is almost all protein. Abalone store their energy as glycogen; they don't store it as fat. It's dense muscle, a little bit sweet and salty. As the American palate has developed, so has consumers' demand for the sweet sea snail.
Baja Bay Scallops
From small fishing villages along the northern part of the Baja Peninsula, Day Boat Fishermen set out in small Wooden Pangas for a day of hand lining and Scallop diving. In general, the only fresh Bay Scallop produced in the States is the Nantucket Bay Scallop available in small numbers from November through March, the “Sea of Cortez” Bay scallop is again a “Hand Harvested” product, landed by Divers in shallow waters off the coast of Baja.
The Bay scallop is sweeter, more tender and smaller than the sea scallop. Pay attention—bay scallops cook quickly, so keep an eye on the pan to avoid a rubbery texture. It is also incredible in crudo and cerviche.
California-Baja Shellfish Combo
The portions on this extraordinary shellfish combination serve 6-8 people. The abalone, which arrives to your door live, is totally unique and delicious with beautiful shells to boot! The bay scallops are...well you know - smaller, sweeter and more tender than their sea cousins. I put an impromptu dinner together when this package arrived and the preparation and cooking was easy and the results boosted my cooking ego considerably. Everyone, even those unfamiliar with abalone, loved it.
Abalone is very easy to cook and its preparation and tenderizing is simple. Our recipes blog for abalone will give you the tools to prepare this delicacy and wow your guests.
Scallops are simple to cook and very rewarding. Bay scallops are sweeter than their sea scallops cousins and a real treat. You may not need any help thinking of scallop recipes, but see our blog if you need ideas.