Scallops are a popular kind of shellfish which consist of two kind of meat: the white meaty-textured muscle and the soft orange coral, or roe. They are easily overcooked and taste best when heated for no more than 5 or 6 minutes. Light white wines or sparkling wines bring out the sweetness of the scallop well, though they also make a perfect match with intense savoury flavours, such as salty bacon or chorizo.

The term "scallop" is derived from the Old French escalope, meaning "shell". It is the traditional emblem of St James, from the legend that the apostle once rescued a knight who was covered in scallop shells. Medieval Christian pilgrims would make the journey to his shrine carrying a shell, approaching churches, castles and abbeys on the way. There, they would be given as much sustenance for their journey as they could scoop up with the single scallop shell.