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Nov 8, 2011 12:12 PM

Mexican Bay Scallops vs. Peconic or Nantucket Bay Scallops

I'm a recent arrival to LA and have seen things labeled "bay scallops" in Santa Monica Seafood and other places. They say they are from Mexico. Have any other former East Coasters tried these? How do they stack up against the little morsels of brilliance that are the East Coast bays?

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  1. To the best of my knowledge, the Mexican (or Peruvian or Chinese) "bay scallops" are the same species as the Peconic/Nantuckets, but they are farm raised and frozen. They are bland, and softer from the freezing. The best thing I can say about them is that the are better than pencil erasers.....oops! I mean calico "bay" scallops.

    1 Reply
    1. re: EricMM

      Thanks! The Easy Coast bays freeze very well, actually. Considering these are 1/2 the price of the Peconic bays, it's not gonna kill me to drop $2.50 for 1/4 lb and see what I get, I guess!

    2. As it happens, I just bought some Mexican bay scallops from Whole Foods yesterday (not previously frozen, according to the signage) for $10.99/lb - about what you paid. They're very good. A little watery, but nothing a pat with a paper towel can't fix. And a little bigger than Nantucket scallops, so they're harder to overcook.

      7 Replies
      1. re: small h

        Cool, thanks. But do they have that similar, sweet flavor? Would you consider eating them raw? Like I said, I'll probably just pick some up and see. The thing is, I don't like sea scallops. :-)

        1. re: Withnail

          I have a (probably ridiculous) fear of eating raw seafood from a store as opposed to a sushi bar, and these bay scallops are a little too mushy for me to consider conquering my fear. But yes, they are sweet, and just a bit briny. I love sea scallops, but they were $24/lb, and this isn't one of my splurge times.

          1. re: small h

            Not entirely ridiculous! The only reason I would eat them raw was when I got them in East Hampton, I knew they'd been swimming only a couple of hours earlier! That's one of the benefits of small town living!

            1. re: Withnail

              Your fear is not unfounded. Vibrio is found in the warmer waters in the Gulf of Mexico. Best to make sure raw seafood comes from the Northeast or Northwest where the water is too cool for this nasty, nasty bac.

              1. re: Pietime

                Thank you for making me feel smartly cautious rather than stupidly paranoid. I knew there was a reason I'd survived this long. Although I'm also the sort of person who takes one educational mushroom walk and then goes on to fry up and eat a bunch of puffballs I found growing in the yard. They weren't that good, but I'm also not dead, so, victory!

          2. re: Withnail

            They are definitely not as sweet as peconics or Nantuckets. Also, while I am delighted to eat the peconics raw, I would never eat any imported shellfish raw, unless it was from a top quality restaurant or market that specialized in raw seafood.