By / 12th February, 2016 / Events, Rye / No Comments

Every year, Rye, East Sussex devotes an entire week to one scrumptious underwater clam—the scallop. For the past 14 years, Rye has celebrated this creature and the delicious foods and dishes that are made possible thanks to its taste and texture. This year the festival will be held on Saturday 20th —Sunday 26th 2016.

If you’ve never heard of a scallop before, or are just curious about how this little creature lives, you’re in the right spot. Scallop fossils date back 3 million years, and the shell of this tiny seafaring creature has been used symbolically for hundreds of thousands of years. Its shell is found in many well-known business logos as well as in Princess Diana’s very own coat of arms. It can also be seen on Prince William’s Knight of the Garter crest.

Aside from its history with the Royal family, the scallop holds many secrets that the average person may or may not realize. It is a hermaphrodite in its shell, and includes both a male gonad and a female gonad, along with a gill, a foot, a mouth, a fully working digestive gland, mantle and hinge ligament. It swims along the ocean floor when startled but moves very little aside from being spooked. It also has a tentacle and eye spot along with ears. It is very similar to a fish but is known in the scientific community as a mollusc.rye-scallop-festival

Scallops tend to prefer clean, fresh salinity water and do quite well in the warmer waters off of the southern coast of England and Wales. They don’t grow to maturity until around 3 years of age, and you can tell this by looking at their stripes on their shells. For every band on their shell, they’ve been alive for one year. They spawn every year from April to September and increase in growth from April to June.

When consumed, the Scallop is widely accepted to be an aphrodisiac. Its use for love and love making dates back thousands of years. In terms of nutrition, the Scallop provides a nutrient dense source of Vitamin B12, protein, iron and calcium.

Rye and Rye Bay have long since been a source for scallops and have been fished there for hundreds of years. Even King Charles himself stated, “The cheapest sea-towne for provision of fish in our house,” when referring to this tiny sea bearing town. Rye’s fishing fleet moors nearly two miles from the sea, but nonetheless bring up hundreds of thousands of scallops every single year.

It is not any surprise that every year Rye Bay is the center for a festival that celebrates the life of the Scallop. After all, it has been the centre of nearly all scallop production in the whole of England. Experiencing this event first-hand is an excellent way to get to know this incredible sea creature and to discover numerous ways to enjoy it from your very own home.

rye-scallop-weekIf you’re looking for an easy way to indulge your taste buds in seafood dishes, then you don’t want to miss this event. A variety of restaurants will be there showcasing their scallop based dishes, all featuring freshly caught scallops and other seafood-based culinary fair. If you have your heart set on tasting and enjoying the finest scallops in England, then you’ll definitely want to make it out to this festival.

In addition to the wide array of delicious foods and perfectly cooked scallops, the Scallop Festival will also be including tasting events, cookery schools and demonstrations as well as local live music and much more. The Scallop Festival is an all ages event and perfect for the entire family, so don’t hesitate to bring the whole lot!

Of course, unless you live in Rye fulltime, you will also need a place to stay. The Rye Lodge Hotel is the perfect place to stay during your visit. Rye is an ancient city that holds a rich history, and The Rye Lodge Hotel is located right in the heart of its noteworthy landmarks. During the Scallop Festival, The Rye Lodge Hotel will be offering discounted room rates based on a two-night stay, which includes a full breakfast each morning.

If you want to take in the sights of an ancient city, enjoy the freshest seafood in all of England, and are looking for the best place to stay, then book a room at The Rye Lodge Hotel during the Scallop Festival. Be a part of this annual event and tantalize your taste buds with fresh seafood and scallops.

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