Last night I was finally set to try a recipe from Padma Laskhmi’s new cookbook. I found the amchoor I needed. I bought my ingredients. I was ready to go. The recipe: Sea scallops with crushed peanuts and cucumber relish.
The scallops I bought at Publix were large and plump. We were looking forward to eating them but the outcome was not what D and I expected. The scallops were bitter. So bitter I only ate a couple.
Now, I’m not a frequent buyer of scallops but I have bought them in the past and never had they been this way. At first I wondered if I had done something wrong but after doing some research – thank you, Google – I think we found our explanation. The bitterness apparently is caused from the chemical treatment that scallops are given to retain natural moisture and increase their weight. (If this was the case with these, I feel seriously ripped off at $15.99/lb). For years, says our source, sea scallops have been treated with sodium tripolyphosphate which makes them look white and wet.
Needless to say the meal wasn’t very successful. The relish was good and I’m sure if it were paired with some sweet buttery scallops, it would’ve made a very nice meal.
I should’ve listened to my gut when I thought of going to Whole Foods or Casablanca for the scallops but I got lazy. Once again, there went my inner Food Network star, but I learned a valuable lesson about scallops. Next time I’ll drive the extra miles and ask for dry, chemical-free scallops. You live, you learn.