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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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scallop an edible mollusc which exists in many species around the world and is highly esteemed in almost all regions, although not in SE Asia. Scallops belong to the family Pectinidae, in which the principal genera are Pecten and Chlamys.

Scallops do not crawl or burrow, so do not have a large ‘foot’. Instead, they have a highly developed adductor muscle, by means of which they can open and close their shells and so propel themselves through the water. The Japanese name for scallop means, literally, ‘full-sail fish’, from the manner of its movement with one shell raised. Not all scallops exercise this ability. Some remain anchored by a byssus to some solid object. Others start life thus and then become free rangers, swimming or resting on the sea bottom.