Abalone Mollusk is mostly found in Oceania, the United States, Mexico, and the Indian ocean. This mollusk is also nicknamed the ‘ear shell’ due to its resemblance to the human ear. The Abalone mollusk is equally important due to its meat and shell. Its meat is delicious in taste and enriched in nutrients. The shell of Abalone is also of great importance economically.
How much does the Abalone cost?
Abalone can be found between rocks and is complicated to catch, which means that its price is also high. Another reason for the high costs of Abalone is, it is a rare sea animal, found only in some specific regions.
Wild Abalone price
Wild Abalone can cost anywhere between $500 and $550 per kilogram. This price will be dependent on whether it can be found locally or will have to be imported according to its availability. If it is imported from another area, its cost will also increase based on the included shipping charges.
It is important to know that the Abalone’s shell is heavier than its meat. When you buy one kilogram of Abalone, you may get 250 to 300 grams of meat.
As exposed in an article by the New York Times, the black market offers poached red abalone for prices of up to $100 each.
The wholesale price of Abalone
Abalones are also available at wholesale rates if you were to buy a big enough quantity. These prices vary from $85 to $180 per kg. At the same time, Abalone locally available can cost between $50 and $80. Wholesale prices will usually be available for common buyers of big quantities, like hotels and restaurants, who mostly have orders of more than 30 kg. Some of the wholesale dealers can offer some discounts. Wholesale rates are also dependent on the availability and variety of Abalone.
The Abalone mollusk is a sea snail. It is a gastropod mollusk in the Haliotidae family. Other common names of Abalone are ear shells, muttonfish or mutton shells, ormer, perlemoen, and paua.
Abalone Mollusks are equally important due to their out shells and meat. The Abalones’ shell is a great attraction for humans due to its unique color and texture. These shells have the ability to change color as well. People often use these shells for decoration and jewelry due to their attractive colors and texture.
The meat of Abalone is eaten raw or cooked in different cultures and cuisines. Abalones’ meat is among the most desirable meats in some countries. In Asian culture, Abalone meat is considered a magnificent remedy for some health issues.
The habitat of Abalone
The Abalone Mollusk lives close to rocks, deep under the water. This mollusk feeds on Algae and also uses them for protection. The outermost shell of Abalone camouflages in the color of Algae when there is any danger. It is very hard to catch Abalones in their natural habitat. They stuck very hard to the rocks and their ability to camouflage in the color of Algae makes it an even harder job for the Abalone hunters.
Alternatives of wild Abalones
Wild Abalones are rare and expensive. Raising Abalones in captivation is also trending nowadays. This practice allows you to eat Abalones while also staying within a decent budget. But as you might know, the wild Abalone habitat is in close proximity to rocks, so there will be a considerable difference in taste and nutrition between wild Abalones and farm-raised Abalones.
Along with wild and farm-raised Abalone, there are some other varieties of Abalone Mollusks:
- California Abalone is usually available, as you might expect, around the California area. It is usually red in color, but can also be found as green, pink, and black Abalone.
- Australian Abalone will have a completely non-fishy flavor, which gives it a very refined taste. Its meat is delicious and highly recommended to people who like vegetarian foods.
Nutrient content per 100 g raw Abalone:
- Fat: 0.76 g
- Protein: 17.1 g
- Sodium: 301 mg
- Magnesium: 40 mg
- Omega-3: 0.49 g
- Vitamin E: 3.4 IU
- Vitamin B12: 0.6 mcg
- Calories: 105 g
Health benefits of Abalone
The Abalone Mollusk is very well known for its health benefits, especially in Asian cultures. Healing of arthritis, healing of the eyes, alleviating fluid retention in the body, and improving blood circulation are just some health benefits associated with eating Abalone meat. In China and Japan Abalone is among the most desired dishes.
This Mollusk can be found in the fish section of most markets. It is usually found on ice with its shell. Abalone is available in markets in one of the following forms:
Fresh Abalone is usually available in fish markets. It comes as a whole with a shell on it. When you purchase one kg of Abalone, you should be prepared to only get about 250 g of meat after removing the shell. It can cost between $500 to $550, which is a pretty expensive type of meat.
Frozen Abalone is also available in fish markets. It also comes with its shell. You can also find it in the form of fillets. Fillets will usually be more expensive than buying as a whole, as it will have no shell and you will only pay for the meat.
Dried Abalone can be used as an ingredient after soaking it in water for several days. They are available in some grocery stores and supermarkets in dry form. If you purchase them, you should wait for some days to get them soft enough to be eaten with ease.
Is there any way to spend less?
As we already mentioned above, the wild Abalone Mollusks will cost considerably more than farm-raised Abalones. If you want to eat some Abalone meat, and at the same time to save some money, try to eat an alternative to wild Abalone. You can also buy frozen fillets instead of whole and fresh Abalone.
If you are planning on buying bigger quantities or are representing a restaurant then you should buy this type of meat in bulk. You will be able to get it at wholesale rates. At the time of writing this article, wholesale rates start from $50 and the minimum purchase will usually be somewhere around 30 kg. Which is a suitable quantity for restaurants or hotels.