A scallop is a marine bivalve mollusk of the family Pectinidae. Scallops are a cosmopolitan family, found in all of the world's oceans. Many scallops are highly prized as a food source...The scallop shell is the traditional emblem of James, son of Zebedee, and is popular with pilgrims on the Way of St James to the apostle's shrine at Santiago de Compostela in Galicia (Spain). Medieval Christians making the pilgrimage to his shrine often wore a scallop shell symbol on their hat or clothes. The pilgrim also carried a scallop shell with him, and would present himself at churches, castles, abbeys etc., where he could expect to be given as much sustenance as he could pick up with one scoop. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scallop
In medieval times, Rye Bay fish (herring, mackerel, cod, sole, plaice and whiting) were reserved for the king’s table. Perhaps Pepys' scallops came from here too?
On steeply rising ground, Rye in Sussex lies to the west of Camber, one of the five medieval Cinq Ports, its church spire providing a beacon for fishermen as it has for centuries. Cobbled streets are studded with fine old buildings … Down on the River Rother estuary, a spanking new quay has turned it from one of the most dangerous to one of England’s finest working quays.
Free-moving scallops – bivalve molluscs found in all the world’s oceans – do not attach themselves to ropes or rocks like mussels or oysters, and their white flesh (or muscle) and coral roes are protected by distinctive fan-shaped shells, the ancient emblem of St. James. They are the pilgrim mussel, the coquille St. Jacques, packed with vitamin B12 and a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids, potassium and magnesium.
In other words, they are great for your cardiovascular health; and they also deliver selenium, helping to neutralize the negative effects of free radicals.
The deep, clean and high-salinity waters of Rye Bay, rich in minerals washed from the Wealden soil, have become the main source of winter income for the 10 or so scallop boats that head three miles out before lowering up to five ''rakes’’ on either side, designed to flip the shells up and into nets.
Rye’s scallops are still crucial to the town and the old adage that one fisherman at sea creates 10 jobs holds true with its rich history and easy accessibility to London. This is all part of Rye’s charm, and when the sun bursts through the clouds you could be forgiven for believing that the Kent/East Sussex borderlands are God’s own country. Here the sky, land and sea are knitted together by the screams of the gulls into a pocket of raw beauty. Come May 1, the season will end, allowing the scallops six months to breed and grow.
Meanwhile, Rye will survive the winter months defiantly, reliant on the tenacity and imagination of its inhabitants and the hard-won profits delivered by its world-beating scallops.
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.