How To Pick Out Female Scallops And Why You Should

To the untrained eye, there's little to no difference in a group of fresh scallops. If you've bought them from your local store, chances are you've done the usual — vaguely waving in their direction as a server scooped them up or grabbing the nearest ready-to-go package. Unfortunately, if this is the case, you've likely missed out on the tastiest of them all: female scallops.

Female scallops are easy to spot once you've got some basic identifying information under your belt. Rather than the ghostly pale color of male scallops, the female scallops are a pinkish-orange. Call it a blushed quality that's particularly noticeable when all the male and female scallops are displayed together. It's such a simple identifying process that picking out female scallops should only take you an extra few seconds. Yet, once you've tasted them, this will feel like the life hack of the century. Distinguishing between scallop genders is one of the best ways to maximize the quality of the product you're buying.

What's the taste difference when it comes to female scallops?

If you successfully pick a female scallop, you'll notice that they carry a sweeter and richer flavor. This sweetness adds a more delicate quality to the final dish than you'd get through male scallops alone. Interestingly, the part that we eat and see for sale in stores is actually the scallop's adductor muscle. During egg production, females release carotenoid pigment that spreads through the mollusk, with excess diverted to its adductor muscle. The taste difference and color differentiation are a result of this orange-colored roe.

Whether you sear or bake your scallops, regardless of your recipe choice, creating a tasty dish starts with the ingredients you select. The first step, selecting which scallops you want from your local store, is of utmost importance if you want to make the most impressive dish possible. Not only are female scallops sweeter and richer tasting, but they also offer a more colorful variation for dish presentation. Picking them out is a breeze, so why not take your scallop dish to a new level?