Saturday, October 31, 2009

Fresh or Frozen

In our quest to find the highest quality products from the New England region we came across a small scallop company out of Stonington CT that sells sea scallops, beautiful, large, dry and sweet. The flavor and texture are unlike many scallops I have tried in the past. Firm,silky smooth texture and a delicate sweetness only found in the high quality freshest scallops on the market.
Bomster Scallops out of Stonington CT are one of the best scallops I have ever used......and the catch here is they are frozen!?
But before you stop reading and tell me Im crazy, and that I live and work near one of the largest scallop ports in the world(New Bedford), you have to pay attention to the story.
The condensed version:

sea scallops, unlike smaller bay scallops, live in relatively deep waters scallop boats typically go out for ten days or more at a time.

Scallops can’t survive long out of their briny bath, so crew members shuck their catch as soon as it’s hauled on board. Standard practice, is to then wrap the scallops in canvas bags and store them on ice. By the time the boats dock, the scallops at the bottom of the hold may have been sitting in melting ice for a week or more.

Seafood suppliers buy the catch and all too often subject it to a further indignity: a soaking in sodium tripolyphosphate to cut down on moisture loss in frozen seafood, but the chemical can also be used to get scallops to absorb extra water. This “wet packing,” as it’s called, increases the scallops’ weight—and suppliers’ margins. I believe it gives the scallops an off flavor and may mask the signs of spoiling.

Bobmster Scallops Story
Working side-by-side at two metal troughs, each member of a seven-member crew cuts the circular white abductor muscle from its shell. It takes about a second and a half to shuck each scallop. The scallops are quickly rinsed in ocean water, then vacuum packed and laid in a single layer on metal pans. The pans slot into an industrial freezer that can reach 20 below in a matter of seconds.

The packaging seals in the natural juices, while quick freezing means ice crystals don’t have a chance to form, compromising the texture. The flesh is never exposed to fresh water and never treated with chemicals. Virtually a product that when defrosted properly has the same charecteristics that it had on the boat.

So far I have not been able to get any of my friends to tell me by taste test which scallop is frozen and which is not....but in all honesty the scallop that they all say has a better texture and flavor......Bombster

Stonington Seafood Harvesters, Stonington Town Dock, 4 High Street, Stonington, Connecticut, 860-535-8342.

1 comment:

Brian said...

Hey Rich, remember when I used to drive you to Legal Sea Foods in Framingham for our training? My wife and I will be in for dinner, probably Nov 29 for my birthday. Can you recommend a dish or create us something special?
Brian Sullivan