By |12 May 2023 at 2:55 PM
National Coquilles Saint Jacques Day 2023: Date, History, Facts about Scallops

National Coquilles Saint Jacques Day is observed annually on May 16 to recognise ‘the Shell of St. James,’ an alternative term for the popular seafood scallops. In France, the coquille is a specific species of scallop, and only coquille may be used for this dish. This dish is composed of butter, cream, mushrooms, and cheese. In regions where the coquille cannot be found, however, people can use any type of scallop and prepare them in a variety of methods.

The background of National Coquilles Saint Jacques Day

National Coquilles Saint Jacques Day is an uncommon holiday, the origin of which is unknown, but it has a lengthy history.

It is believed that the scallop shell represents one of Jesus’ twelve apostles, St. James. According to urban legends, scallop shells served as water and food containers for pilgrims travelling to Santiago de Compostela. On the front of dwellings used by pilgrims as resting points, scallop shell carvings can be found.

“Coquilles Saint Jacques” refers to scallops prepared in a particular French manner. The majority of king scallops in France originate from the Atlantic and are known as St. James scallops. There is a prevalent theory regarding the origin of the dish’s name. According to legend, St. James rescued a knight from drowning, and when the knight emerged from the water, he was covered in shells; thus, the expression “shells of St. James” arose. It should be noted, however, that the dish is not explicitly associated with St. Jacques/James and only derives its name from him.

The dish has become extremely popular in many regions of the world over time. While it remains traditionally French, Montreal’s Italians have adapted it as their own and given it an Italian twist. They have substituted classic mozzarella for the original Gruyère cheese in the recipe.

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The edible flesh within the shell is white and firm, while the roe is soft and orange-red.

They are consumed as sashimi or sushi in Japan.

In numerous nations around the world, scallops are regarded as a delectable dietary source.

There are numerous methods for preparing scallops, including sautéing, barbecuing, broiling, and poaching.

The bay scallop and the Atlantic sea scallop are edible scallops, with the former being smaller and less expensive than sea scallops, which are enormous and costly.


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