Les Coquilles St. Jacques or scallops are not harvested anywhere near Provence but they are on every menu come the end of the year holidays. These delicately flavored shellfish are fished along the coasts of the Atlantic and the English Channel from October through April.
They can be purchased with the shell or without. You will also be able to purchase diver fished scallops as opposed to dredged scallops. Depending on where and when they were harvested they may contain an orange sack which the French call “corail” which literally means coral. This red roe is the reproductive organ of this hermaphrodite being. In Brest the “corail” appears inside the shell as early as November whereas in St.Brieuc it only makes its appearance as of March. Many French consider the roe the most delicious part of the scallop. But seeing as not everyone shares that view, you will be able to find scallops with and without the red roe on most fish stalls. In this photo Provencal chef Pierre Reboul www.restaurant-pierre-reboul.com shows some students attending a cooking class how to remove the scallops from the shell without damaging them.