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Difference Between Oysters and Scallops

Most of us know oysters and scallops as dishes that are served all dressed up on our dinner plates. Well, like everything, they are more than just their shells; excuse the pun.


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They both fall under bivalve mollusks that are found inside varied types of shells. Obviously, both oysters and scallops are popular seafood items that feature in most menus.

Oysters vs Scallops

The difference between oysters and scallops is that oysters possess a rough, grey-surfaced shell that could either be round or oval. On the other hand, scallops have colorful shells that often make them look like seashells. The defining characteristic that sets these creatures apart is the appearance of their shells.

Oysters vs Scallops

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Oysters remind us of the gooey dish that is placed on top of mounds of ice and has a slippery texture and a crisp salty flavor when cooked.

They are placed under the bivalve mollusks, contain round or oval shells, and have rough edges. Oysters are considered to be immobile and often found attached to a single surface.

On the other hand, scallops are mostly served as a pan-fried item that has a beautiful gold coating when cooked just right. Similar to oysters, scallops also feature under bivalve mollusks.

However, unlike the oyster shells, they are colorful. Moreover, scallops are capable of swimming. This is achieved by the opening and closing of their shell valves.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonOystersScallops
DefinitionOysters refer to bivalve mollusks with irregular shells. Scallops are bivalve mollusks with ribbed shells.
ShellThey are round or oval and often have a grey hue.Ribbed, colorful, and fan-like.
PresentationThey are often served along with their shells.Upon harvest, the shells are removed from these creatures.
TextureThey are described to have a slimy texture.By comparison, scallops have a more fish-like texture.
PriceOysters are much more expensive than their counterpart. They are less expensive.
ServingIt can be cooked or uncooked. Oysters can also be cooked via being smoked.They are most often pan-seared.

What are Oysters?

Oysters are found in bay areas and oceans, categorized under a seafood organism category called bivalve mollusks that are of aquatic and marine habitats.

Oysters can be easily identified by their shell shape and color. Oysters taste better than they look with irregular, hard shells that often mix grey and being.

The oyster’s fleshy and slimy inner body is the actual living organism that is a seafood staple. Oysters are classified sling with clams and scallops.

Oysters are highly nutritious and contain several nutrients such as proteins, selenium, zinc, iron, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. They are a much-coveted delicacy popular in all parts of the planet.

Oysters are slick and slimy and have a fleshy and salty flavor. They can be consumed raw, cooked, or smoked. However, some people may be allergic to raw oysters.

This could be due to the chemical contaminants present in the water and other contractable infections.

They are typically served along with their shells, and it is advised to choose oysters with closed shells. Oysters that cannot be pried apart shouldn’t be consumed.

Oysters can be consumed with a vinaigrette dressing or grilled, baked, stir-fried, steamed, and added to various dishes.

Oysters are also generally expensive.

What are Scallops?

Scallops are living organisms that fall under the grouping of mollusks. It is a bivalve organism that is of the marine habitat. Falling under the family of Pectinidae, these invertebrates inhabit the oceans.

Scallops are touted as one of the biggest bivalve families. There are over three hundred scallop varieties in existence.

Scallops have the ability to swim. They clap their valves together quickly, which helps them stay mobile and make their way across the vast ocean.

Despite their various achievements as a moving invertebrate and several different varieties, scallops remain to be well-known for their contribution to the food expeditions of humankind.

They have a single hinged shell, the halves known as valves. They have ribbed and fan-like shells that are often found to be white, orange, or yellow.

This term’s literal translation is from the Old French word that spells shells. The two types of scallops are the small Bay scallops and the large sea scallops.

Scallops are largely pan-fried and lend a beautiful texture and taste with minimal preparation. The inner flesh of the scallops forms an almost perfect round. This is tender and fleshy when cooked accurately.

With a sweet and salt flavor, scallops need only a few minutes to be cooked to perfection. However, overcooking them makes them lose their flavor and lends a rubbery texture.

Scallops are largely inexpensive and a must-have seafood item.

Main Differences Between Oysters and Scallops

  1. While both oysters and scallops are bivalve mollusks, oysters are immobile. On the other hand, scallops can swim using the movement of their valves.
  2. Oysters contain a grey and beige, round or oval shell. These shells are also highly uneven. The shells are ribbed and colorful for scallops. They are observed to be fan-like.
  3. Oysters are an expensive commodity. By comparison, scallops cost less.
  4. Oysters are typically served delicacy that consists of both or one-half of its shell. The ribbed scallop shells are discarded while harvesting them.
  5. Oysters have a gooey, slimy, and slippery texture. In contrast, the scallop resembles a fish in its texture.
Oysters vs Scallops – Difference Between Oysters and Scallops
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