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View Diary: Marine Life Series: The Blue-eyed Scallop (24 comments)

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  •  I spend time in Santiago de Compostela (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pattisigh, crose, MizC

    and they know their scallops:

    It's because the scallop was mainly found in Galicia that during the 10th century it was chosen as the emblem of pilgrims to the shrine of Saint James (Saint Jacques in French) at Compostela in Spain. It became known as the Coquille Saint Jacques, while French zoologists gave it the less romantic name of "peigne" (comb). Paleontologists have found fossilised masses, sometimes considerable, on the coasts of the Channel, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. It seems that the scallop was prized not only for the animal it sheltered but for its shell, which apparently served as a kind of currency. Food historians Georges and Germaine Blond have put forward the hypothesis that during ancient times there existed "shell routes." That would explain why the pilgrims who attained Saint Jacques at Compostela chose this symbol as proof that they had accomplished the journey.

    Medieval Christianity was fascinated by the scallop: it inspired architects, silversmiths and goldsmiths, and even renaissance painters, as Venus was born in a scallop shell. A member of the Pectinidae family (like the small queen shellfish and the pétoncle), the scallop is its biggest representative. Its average size is 7 to 13 cm for Atlantic scallops, 8 to 10 cm for those living in the Mediterranean. Red-brick-coloured, sometimes pink or speckled, the two ribbed striated vavles are different: the right side is hollow, the left side flat.

    I've actualy used the photo that is third from the bottom in a lecture. Is it typical of coastal Spain as well?

    And -- as an aside -- you haven't tasted seafood if you haven't been in Galicia.

    "Don't have nobody to call my own; please, please bring me a dream."

    by MrSandman on Thu May 15, 2008 at 09:25:28 PM PDT

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