They can be found off the coast from Norway down to Spain, and around Madeira and the Azores and the Canary Islands.
They have a cream-coloured shell up to 6 inches (15 cm) wide that is flat on the bottom, rounded on top.
The adductor muscle size is approximately 2 inches (5 cm); the minimum legal sale size for it is 1/2 inch (1 cm.) This muscle is creamy-white; the roe (aka coral) of the scallop is bright-orange.
Half the King Scallops sold in the UK are caught off Scotland by diver or dredging. They are also farmed commercially. To farm them, they are allowed to grow in nets for two years, then placed on the ocean floor, then harvested from there when they are 4 to 5 years old.
King Scallops are usually sold live in the shell.
Allow 2 to 3 per person as a starter; 4 to 6 as part of a main course.
The coral only takes a few seconds to cook.
Pecten maximus Species Fact Sheet. Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. Retrieved November 2007 from http://www.fao.org/fi/website/FIRetrieveAction.do?dom=species&fid=3516.