Wild Thing: Bay Scallops

(Argopecten irradians)

Forget hunting or fishing – starting in October, gathering sweet bay scallops is where it’s at. The Island is blessed with one of the healthiest populations of Atlantic bay beauties. So what are you waiting for? Get out there. (But make sure you get a permit first.)

Where to look: Menemsha and Quitsa Ponds, Lake Tashmoo, Lagoon Pond, Sengekontacket, Cape Pogue Bay, and Katama Bay are all great places to start your search. Though shellfish permits – good for one year in one town – are considerably cheaper for in-town residents, many up-Islanders purchase from another town, as access can be limited for those without boats. When in doubt, ask the experts where to go.

How to use: Shuck ’em and cook ’em  – or eat ’em raw, ceviche style. Either way, if you collect a full bushel, you’ll likely have plenty of extras (and that’s sort of the point). Give some to your friends, then freeze the rest. Once shucked, they’ll keep for up to a year.

“When I am frustrated in my attempts to gather provender by angling, I turn, knowing that success is inevitable, to shellfishing.”

   – Nelson Bryant, New York Times