Many species of scallops are highly prized as a food source, and some are farmed as aquaculture. The word “scallop” is also applied to the meat of these bivalves, the adductor muscle, that is sold as seafood. The brightly colored, symmetrical, fan-shaped shells of scallops with their radiating and often fluted ornamentation are valued by shell collectors, and have been used since ancient times as motifs in art, architecture, and design.
Similar to shrimp, retailers describe scallop sizes by a range of numbers indicating how many of them there are in a pound. Designating scallops as “20/30” means that it would take between 20 and 30 of them to make up a pound. The smaller this number range is, the larger (by weight) the scallops are.
You may also see size designations that read “U/10” or “U/15.” In these cases, the “U” stands for “under,” indicating that it would take fewer than 10 (or 15) scallops to make up a pound. U/10 scallops would be the biggest ones available.
These weights, and thus size, are also an indicator of which type of scallop you are buying as bay and sea scallops differ greatly in size.
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