CLAM (Scallop)

Clam is the common name that identifies different bivalve mollusks with differing sized and colored oval shells that can be hard or soft, bear lines or feature zigzag markings. Within their shells there are two symmetrical valves attached by a ligament; as well as siphons that these creatures protrude outside their shells to filter water. Bivalves burrow into sand or mud along riverbanks and seashores.
Clams have been considered food in Mexico since pre-Hispanic times.
The scallop known as concha abanico lives in estuaries, sand or mud banks, in bays and coastal lagoons, along the Americas’ Pacific Coast, from Baja California to Peru.
Scallop fishing in the Baja California region focuses on four species: round scallops (Pinna rugosa), crescent scallops (Atrina Maura), smooth scallops (Atrina oldroydii) and kidney scallops (Atrina TB).
Their thin shells have a triangular, cuneiform aspect; the scallops’ soft, visceral parts attach to shells by means of two muscles. The rear muscle is larger, is also called the scallop and is the edible part of the shellfish.
The species forms wide-ranging banks where numerous populations live alongside other mollusks like oysters.
They are fished year-round, but prime season is from January to May.
Mexico’s Baja California and North Pacific regions undertake intense aquaculture efforts to restore scallop fisheries degraded by commercial exploitation.
Scallops are eaten fresh and only a small percentage of production is destined for canning or dehydration (for use in soups).
Mexicans enjoy scallops in ceviche, cocktails (made solely of scallops or in combination with other seafood); they are a main or supplementary ingredient in cold salads; and in some places they are breaded or savored with no more dressing than a squirt of lime.

Recipes

Scallops with pico de gallo