Live Seafood at Our Doorstep - Part 3

June 2009

As I was typing furiously away at my notebook, the phone rang, jolting me from my stream of consciousness. Knowing exactly who was calling, I snapped up the receiver before the first ring completed.

"How many," I growled.

"Fourteen," the reply buzzed and crackled.

"How b--" I began, but was interrupted.

"HUGE. And they're alive."

"I'll be there in a half an hour!" I barked into the mouthpiece, leaving the front door open, as I bolted to the car.

I skidded into a parking place in front of the hut where the fisherman was sitting. In front of him was a pile of beautiful, enormous scallops, agape and panting.

Pecten fumatus - the king scallop.

Skeptically, I lightly caressed the eyes along the mantle inside a scallop. It closed slightly, in protest.

I leaned in to smell. Ocean.  All day.

"How much?"

"$0.42 cents (USD) a piece"

He didn't even need to complete his sentence. I thrust the worn, dog-eared bills into his hands, and sped off.

Patted with salt, pepper, and Ethiopian mitmit'a spice blend, and set aside.

Sweated some coarsely chopped basil, garlic and shallot in portuguese butter, prepared some angel hair pasta with a light aglio olio, seared the scallops and their accompanying roe for 45 seconds each side, and tossed everything together.

Finished it off with a gorgeous sunset.