A Taste for Fresh Florida Scallops
July through September you can harvest scallops in a handful of places throughout Florida, but the closest and maybe best experience can be found along the Forgotten Coast in Port St. Joe and Cape San Blas, a 17-mile barrier island along St. Joseph Bay.
All you need to nab these delicious mollusks is a salt water fishing license. You can kayak or canoe out to grass beds and spot them while wearing a snorkel mask — or simply wade out to them near shore and scoop them up by hand or with a small net.
Though they are small in size, they are big on flavor and easy to prepare. Simply open with a butter knife, scrape clean, leave the adductor muscle and steam or grill them right in the shell. Or scoop the scallop into a container and chill until you are ready to prepare your favorite recipe that calls for the scallop to be pan friend, seared, baked or grilled. Whether for breakfast, lunch or dinner any recipe that puts this delicate and versatile mollusk center stage is likely a tasty one.
This succulent seafood is something to be celebrated. And it is each August during Florida’s Annual Scallop & Music Festival in downtown Port St Joe. The 17th annual event is slated for August 2–3. Happy harvesting!