MANY MENUS CLAIM TO HAVE DIVER SCALLOPS, but few understand the meaning of the term. A true diver scallop is hand harvested from the ocean floor by professional fishermen who are also licensed SCUBA divers. More often than not, chefs and customers are told they are purchasing a diver scallop without confirmation to verify what they are buying.
Since owner, Rod Mitchell, pioneered this practice in the late 1980’s for the late legendary chef Jean-Louis Palladin, Maine diver sea scallops have become an industry standard fresh, pristine sea scallops. These are simply the sweetest, best sushi quality scallops available anywhere.
A few ways to identify a true diver scallop:
- The scallop meat (actually the shucked adductor muscle) should be firm and stand up solid when laid on a surface.
- The scallop meat itself should react with a pulse when snapped by a finger to show that the mussel is still full of oxygen, which occurs when harvested by hand without the stress of being dragged in a scallop dredge.
- There should be no white liquid present in the container or liquid from the scallop when seared, the telltale of soaking in preservatives.
The scallop fishery here in Maine is a protected resource, open only from December until April, with daily catch limits. When you purchase Maine diver scallops, you support ecologically friendly harvesting. There is minimal impact on the bottom environment that often occurs with conventional ocean floor drags.
There is a very short window of supply and a high level of demand for such an extraordinary quality of scallop. Each season Browne Trading contracts with a select local certified diver who is most qualified to provide our customers with the best available products.
Catch Region: Inshore, Gulf of Maine
Seasonality: Winter Catch: December to April
Catch Method: Hand Harvested by local Scuba Divers
Yield (Shucked): 100%
Flavor Profile: Sweet, should “taste like the sea”
Texture Profile: Plump, Medium-Firm
- Deep Sea “Dry” Scallops