Scallops are marine bivalve mollusks that can be found in the waters of any ocean all over the world. These are a common food item in seafood restaurants, served only sauteed in butter or added to various dishes like pasta.
You can purchase scallops with the muscle intact or already prepared in the shell. In general, scallops are sold whole outside of the United States of America.
How Much Do Scallops Cost?
The cost of Scallops is influenced by some factors such as the place you buy them from, their form, quantity, and quality. Obviously, smaller scallops which are known under the name bay scallops are cheaper than the larger scallops. If you were to buy them from a local fresh fish market, you should be prepared to spend anywhere between $15 and $40 per pound. The cost increases with the freshness; the fresher they are, the more they cost. For example, a box of two pounds costs around $40 at Costco.
Also, you can purchase a pound of scallops from Shop Rite for $24.
A bag of frozen scallops, sold in general at your local grocery store, is going to cost anywhere between $9 and $14 per pound. However, their quality is not the same as the quality of fresh scallops.
Dive scallops are the most expensive as these are sea scallops that have been picked by hand by a diver. These are less gritty than the boat-harvested variety and more ecologically friendly. One pound of dive scallops is around $45.
DayBoatSscallops is a popular upscale scallop harvester online that sells one pound of scallops for around $34. These are delivered by hand right at your door.
According to a few members of online forums, you can purchase one pound of saw scallops in Chicago for almost $35, while Whole Foods sells saw scallops for $34 per pound.
Depending on the ingredients added, a can of scallops that have been boiled and canned, costs anywhere between $4 and $7. In general, the majority of the canned scallops are soaked just in salt to preserve their freshness.
You can find raw scallops for sale either frozen or fresh. Also, these can be soaked or dry.
Dry scallops, also known in the industry as natural scallops, will be a little bit tan with an almost “vanilla” color. These will not be treated for phosphates and will not have water added to them. Compared to the soaked scallops, dry scallops have a more natural taste and are recommended for searing.
On the other hand, soaked scallops are soaked in a bath of phosphates in order to add water weight. When the scallops are introduced into this mixture, they will start to absorb it and swell and so they gain water weight. In return, the seller will gain more money thanks to the unnecessary water which will increase the weight of scallops. However, when you will cook the soaked scallops, these will shrink in size as the water will evaporate.
What are the extra costs?
If you buy the scallops from an online retailer and do not meet the minimum purchasing amount, most probably, you will have to pay shipping fees. In order to preserve their freshness, scallops will be shipped overnight using dry ice.
Important things to consider
Make sure you ask if the scallops were wild-caught or farm-raised if you buy them from a local seafood counter or from a local store. According to Mayo Clinic, the difference consists in taste and health benefits.
However, even though the scallops have been wild-caught they may not be the best choice and you will want to know exactly where they came from. It is recommended by most experts to choose scallops that come from North America and avoid those that come from Thailand or China.
If you consider baking the scallops, you should know that these toughen up really quickly. So, make sure that you keep an eye on them while baking. However, all you have to do is simply put them in the oven for 10 minutes at 375 Fahrenheit degrees and wait until they get a white shade.
On the other hand, if you want to sauté the scallops you should dip them in some milk, and after that dust them with flour. Melt some butter in a pan and cook the scallops on both sides until they get a brown color. It is important to not overcook them because they will get a rubbery taste and look.
One pound of scallops contains around 10 scallops.
How can I save money?
If you want to save some money on the scallops, you should go shopping at a local fresh fish market. Here you will not find only find better-quality scallops, but also lower prices compared to those you can find at the online retailers.
Also, you can check if your local grocery store has any discounts or promotions for scallops. For example, Sam’s Club and Costco offer seafood discounts during the weekends or on certain days.