MANY MENUS CLAIM TO HAVE DIVER SCALLOPS, but few understand the meaning of the term. True “Diver” Scallops are those that are hand harvested from the ocean floor by professional fishermen who are licensed scuba divers. More often than not, chefs and customers are told they are purchasing a “Diver” Scallop without knowledge of how to actually to verify what they are really buying. The truth of the matter is that less than 1% of all the scallops harvested are really those hand harvested by a diver. And we believe the very best come from our own local inshore Maine coast.
Since owner Rod Mitchell first pioneered this practice in the late 1980’s for the late legendary chef Jean-Louis Palladin, Maine Diver Sea Scallops have become an industry standard for the ultimate in fresh, pristine sea scallop. These are simply the sweetest, best sushi quality scallops available anywhere.
A few ways to identify a true Diver Scallop:
- The scallop meat (actually the shucked adductor muscle) should be firm and stand up solid when laid on a surface.
- The scallop meat itself should react with a pulse when snapped by a finger to show that the mussel is still full of oxygen, which occurs when harvested by hand without the stress of being dragged in a scallop dredge.
- There should be no white liquid present in the container or liquid from the scallop when seared, the telltale of soaking” in preservatives.
The scallop fishery here in Maine is a protected resource, open only from December until April, with daily catch limits and fishing areas strictly enforced. When you purchase Maine Diver Scallops, you support an ultimate practice of ecologically friendly harvesting that allows selective harvest of mature scallops. There is no impact on the bottom environment that traditionally occurs with conventional ocean floor scallop drags.
As the season in Maine is regulated to the winter months, along with the limitations of hand harvesting in the often harsh Maine winter ocean water conditions, there is a very short window of supply and a high level of demand for such an extraordinary quality of scallop. Each season Browne Trading contracts with select local certified divers who we feel are most qualified to provide our customers with the best available products. And every container of Maine Diver Scallops that Browne Trading ships has the actual name of the harvesting scuba diver written on them so our customers know they are the “real thing”.
Maine Diver Scallops are Sushi Grade quality and are available as “Jumbos” (U-10 count) or “Larges” ( U 11-15 count).