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The Disappointment of Wet-Packed Scallops

Jul 02, 2012 03:53PM ● By Anonymous

And, as I should have known, this container was wet-packed scallops. What's the difference, you might ask? Some scallops are treated with a chemical solution known as sodium tripolyphosphate, or STP, which stops the scallop from drying out. This causes scallops to absorb a ton of extra moisture, artifically inflating the price because scallops are sold by weight. 

The first sign that something was off was that despite the high heat of my skillet, these large scallops didn't really brown. That's because of the extra moisture within the scallop. The second clue was that each scallop had a slight metallic taste. Other than that, they were relatively flavorless. 

So my "great deal" on scallops, ending up being not so great after all. Learn from my lesson and always ask the fishmonger for "dry" scallops, particularly if you plan to scallops to be the starring role of a dish. Some websites suggest that you can get away with wet scallops if you're using them in a chowder or pasta dish, but even then, you wouldn't get that great scallop taste that you expect. 

Scallops are pricey, and they're worth the cost. If you find them for relatively cheap, ask yourself why the cut in price before you purchase them.