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Old 01-19-2011, 06:22 PM   #1
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Fresh vs. Frozen Sea Scallops

I'm planning to buy the fresh tomorrow - both are on sale, but was wondering if there's a big difference in taste and texture between the two. I'm going to pan sear them after coating them in a spice/flour mixture.

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Old 01-19-2011, 06:25 PM   #2
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I'd be interested, too. I can only buy frozen by me. Anything in the counter has been previously frozen.
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Old 01-19-2011, 06:29 PM   #3
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I can only get frozen, it's been so long since I had fresh, that I don't remember the differences, if there are any.
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Old 01-19-2011, 06:32 PM   #4
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I don't see where you are, but where I live (northwestern IL), anything "fresh" would actually be thawed, no matter what they say. If I'm going to buy something previously frozen, I'd much rather buy them frozen if I can get individually quick frozen (IQF) (some scallops come to the store in a large frozen block, more than most of us could possibly use). The fact is that the ones I can buy locally are so good, no one can tell the difference -- probably because they're never going to taste them side-by-side. I'm happy with them. The nearest large airport is a 3 hour drive away, trust me, what is being sold is thawed, not fresh. Not like clams, oysters and lobsters, which I can sometimes buy or special order live.
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Old 01-19-2011, 06:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire View Post
I don't see where you are, but where I live (northwestern IL), anything "fresh" would actually be thawed, no matter what they say. If I'm going to buy something previously frozen, I'd much rather buy them frozen if I can get individually quick frozen (IQF) (some scallops come to the store in a large frozen block, more than most of us could possibly use). The fact is that the ones I can buy locally are so good, no one can tell the difference -- probably because they're never going to taste them side-by-side. I'm happy with them. The nearest large airport is a 3 hour drive away, trust me, what is being sold is thawed, not fresh. Not like clams, oysters and lobsters, which I can sometimes buy or special order live.
I'm in NC, and the fresh scallops are from Maine. So, I should assume the "fresh" are most likely frozen than thawed? So why do they sell both "frozen" and "fresh" if it's the same thing? What a drag.
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Old 01-19-2011, 06:49 PM   #6
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That's what I would assume, merstar.

I think there are two reasons.
1, so someone using them that night or the next day doesn't have to take the time to thaw them themself. Which is nothing for seafood... cold running water and a bowl and they are thawed in less than 30 minutes. But maybe they only want to buy five scallops instead of a 2 lb bag.
And 2, because someone walking by the counter will look in and say, gee, I could go for some scallops. In which case they might then walk over to the frozen seafood section and buy a bag. The seafood counter looks much nicer with seafood in it
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Old 01-19-2011, 06:55 PM   #7
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I dumped a bag of frozen scallops with sauce from Trader Joes the other day into the oven and they definitely were not as good as fresh scallops - tiny, dense, but still not bad, because they were hiding in the yummy sauce and took absolutely no effort on my part, hehe...

Here's a link about this you might be interested in reading: The Great Scallop Debate
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Old 01-19-2011, 07:06 PM   #8
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Thanks for all your responses. I just realized I wasn't totally clear about what they're selling at the store:
They have sea scallops that come into the store already frozen, (don't know where they're from, but they're from the U.S.), which they display thawed (maybe they have more in the back that are still frozen?)
and they have sea scallops from Maine that they claim are fresh, and they sell for much more, although the sale price makes them only $2.00 more per lb than the "prefrozen."
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Old 01-19-2011, 09:24 PM   #9
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the last time i bought scallops, they were frozen then thawed. they tasted just awful. been about a year since i bought any. i love em but really want them to taste like scallops. same with all the cooked shrimp in the markets today. would like some small ones cooked for salad. almost always over cooked and to salty. they don't really sell many that aren't cooked. the last ones i bought raw, tasted fishy. wish they could get it together. i don't want to pay an arm and a leg for them either.
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Old 01-19-2011, 10:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merstar View Post
I'm in NC, and the fresh scallops are from Maine. So, I should assume the "fresh" are most likely frozen than thawed? So why do they sell both "frozen" and "fresh" if it's the same thing? What a drag.

Don't assume. When I lived in NC, I usually shopped at Harris Teeter or Fresh Market. They are both very reputable, and depending on the season it's conceivable that they could be either fresh or previously frozen. If you just ask at the seafood counter, they will tell you. If they tell you that they have been frozen and thawed, just buy the frozen ones and thaw them when you're ready.
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