Food - Drink
The French Scallop Named For A Saint
By RYAN CASHMAN
There is a particular breed of scallop that brims not only with flavor, but with cultural, culinary, and religious significance. Anyone familiar with the Camino de Santiago de Compostela will know the symbolic significance of the scallop shell.
Saint James the Greater, known in France as Saint Jaques, was one of Christ’s first disciples; after the crucifixion, he traveled from Jerusalem to Spain, spreading the Gospel for almost 40 years. The pilgrimage of Saint James has remained popular for over 1,000 years, and it’s from this background that our humble scallop takes its name and religious significance.
Coquille Saint-Jacques des Côtes-d’Armor, also known as King Scallops, are a specialty of northwestern France where they are valued as a wintertime treat due to their creamy texture and salty-sweet flavor. The Saint Jacques scallop is a treasured culinary item and was the first shellfish to be recognized as certified authentic by the French government.
At the Côtes d’Armor of northern France, the Fête de la Coquille Saint-Jacques is held for two days every April, and the festivities are centered around the famous scallop. From the annals of history to pilgrimages across Spain, the Saint Jacques scallop will no doubt continue to hold cultural and religious significance for decades to come.