Every year, Rye, East Sussex devotes an entire week to one scrumptious underwater clam—the scallop. The 16th Rye Bay Scallop Week is scheduled for Saturday 24th February – Sunday 4th March 2018.
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 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.
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. 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 faring town. Rye’s fishing fleet moors nearly two miles from the sea, but nonetheless bring up hundreds of thousands of scallops every single year.
If 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!
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 Hotel is located right in the town.