Much like oysters, scallops pick up the subtle regional flavors of the waters they thrive in. Located 26 miles from shore, Nantucket Island offers a remote but accessible fishery that has been producing uniquely delicious scallops for over a hundred years!
In general, scallops from domestic waters are a solid, sustainable option. Scallops grow and mature quickly so they are somewhat resilient to fishing pressure. We did manage to push scallops too hard back in the late 90’s, but strong management and enforcement has been very effective and populations are stable. Research continues to make the dredges use to harvest scallops more selective and less damaging to surrounding ecosystems. It’s a great time for the USA (and Canadian) scallops fisheries!
- The Nantucket bay scallop fishery is VERY carefully managed.
- Short season built around the scallop’s lifestyleLimited catch area
- Season fluctuates depending on weather and catch
- Only mature scallops are kept which is why you have to keep an eye on the day’s weather.
- Since juvenile scallops are returned to the water to grow, the air temperature needs to be above 32° or those little guys will freeze and die.
- Nantucket Bay Scallops average 30 to 40 scallops per pound.
In the Kitchen: Keep it simple – let the scallop be the star of whatever dish they are featured in. Use them to top a seafood risotto, or pasta dish or make the most delicious fritto misto! You can also serve Nantucket Bay Scallops raw – here’s some inspiration: https://www.jamesbeard.org/recipes/nantucket-bay-scallops-with-jalapeno-and-citrus
Availability: Popularity, seasonality, tight geographical limits, and a daily shifting season means Nantucket Bay Scallops can be tough to source. That also gives them a lot of cachet! Savvy diners recognize the name (and are willing to pay for it). Let your Inland Seafood Sales Rep know if you want to get on our Nanny Bay list!