Lagavulin Scallops, Isle of Islay
For most foodies the island of Islay immediately rings malt whisky bells, as is only right – it produces arguably the best whiskies in the world. But for those (non-vegetarians) actually visiting the place another memory will stay in the mind, if they had pockets deep enough and minds open enough to try the local shellfish. Gruinart oysters are excellent, but my Islay desert island shellfish would have to be the Lagavulin scallops – named for their beds in Lagavulin Bay rather than for any link to the wonderful malt of that name.
Lagavulin scallops are hand-picked by careful divers to protect the beds for future production. Whisky writer and Islay resident Martine Nouet lauds ‘triple’ Lagavulin scallops, so named because they come from Lagavulin Bay; are laced with the malt; and eaten by the said Bay. Enjoying the fruits of the country par excellence. I have had them cooked in cream and vermouth at the Harbour Inn in Bowmore; and seared in a dry pan then flambéed in Bunnahabhain whisky with butter added to the juices at that distillery . Both were wonderful – indeed it would take a poor chef to make something less than wonderful from these glorious meaty delicacies.