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Abalone

The abalone is a small mollusk in the gastropod family. It is found in both the Atlantic and Pacific. Some twenty or so species have been identified in North America.


Characteristics

The abalone looks similar to a snail and moves around in much the same way. It lives in colonies, clinging to rocks and crevasses or close to piers, just at sea level. It has a distinctive small spiral shell that varies in colour according to species––often brown, grey or black with spiral bands. The abalone is best to eat when it reaches two to three centimetres in length and width. Its flesh is lean and slightly chewy, much like the snail, and it has a fresh sea aroma.


Culinary tips and advice

You can get abalone fresh or in brine from your grocer. It can be eaten hot or cold and can serve as a substitute for snails in all types of recipes. The abalone can be prepared in many different ways: plain, marinated, with a splash of lemon, in a sauce, grilled, poached in a court-bouillon, used in soups or in salads.


Availability

Abalone is available all year round.


Nutritional value

Abalone is an excellent source of protein and vitamins A, B6 and B12. It is also very rich in potassium and phosphorus.


Storage life

Cover fresh in the shell abalone with a damp cloth then place in a container before storing in the refrigerator. Fresh shellfish should always be eaten as quickly as possible after purchase.

  Refrigerator 4° C (40° F) Freezer -18° C (-4° F)
 Fresh abalone 2 to 3 days 3 months
 Marinated abalone 12 months –


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