The scallop

Star of our cold seas, the scallop hides its “minoix” behind a shell. It proliferates off our coasts and can be enjoyed just fried.

Scallops, pearl of the cold seas

When they unload their traps in the port, the fishermen of Boulogne-sur-Mer and Etaples have a trick to know if the scallops are fresh : they knock on the shell. If it retracts, it is a good sign. It means that the nut inside is alive and of good quality. This pearl of the cold seas is fished offshore with dredges, a kind of rake with teeth that caress the sandy bottom. The respect of quotas and the attention paid to the specifications (ban on fishing shells larger than 11 cm, obligation to spray them with sea water every two hours…) – now allow the scallop to proliferate. In Hauts-de-France, a tiny part of this bivalve mollusc is entitled to the Label Rouge. The rules are even stricter. But according to consumers, the result is sensational.

Shells, periwinkles, it’s great!

Many people don’t know it, but the North Sea and the English Channel are full of treasures other than the famous scallops. And unlike the latter, you don’t have to go very far to find a deposit and have a feast that evening. Because it is about fishing on foot. Concentrated along the Somme bay, fishing on foot is certainly regulated. But if you stay within the limits, you can enjoy cockles, whelks, clams and other periwinkles. For that, you just need to put on a good pair of boots with a waterproof suit and a bucket full of courage. Because fishing on foot is a sporty hobby!

En cuisine

La Saint-Jacques se marie avec de nombreux produits régionaux : une tombée d’endives de pleine terre Label Rouge ou une écrasée de pomme de terre. On peut les faire sauter au cidre de Thiérache, dans une cassolette avec une crème de maroilles AOP ou tout simplement flamber au genièvre.

(1) La coquille Saint-Jacques est une pêche hauturière (de haute mer) qui a lieu entre avril et octobre. Les bateaux mettent entre 3 et 5 heures pour se rendre sur les zones de pêche situées entre le sud des côtes picardes et le littoral normand.