The swimming scallop is known worldwide. The highly esteemed, superb St. James scallop, also known as kapesanta or St. Jacques scallop (Pecten jacobaeus), is a true gastronomic delight. We can consider the St. James scallop one of the high quality scallops.
It got its name after St. James (Sveti Jakov), one of the protectors of seamen. The story says that Jakov saved a seaman from the sea. When he drew him out at the open sea, the sailor was covered with scallops, which was enough for people to recognise Jakov after that sea creature and give his name to a species of scallops found on the rescued man. St. James scallop can grow up to 15 cm, and it swims by sudden opening and closing of the valves. It thus creates thrust by which it moves. Finding a St. James scallop is a difficult and arduous work. It lives in the muddy bottom of the Mediterranean Sea where it is considered to be endemic species. In the Adriatic, it can be found in sandy, shelly, and muddy-and-sandy bottom at 5 to 30 meter depth. It is more frequent in areas with a fresh water spring, so it is most prevalent in the Novigrad Sea, and the Velebit and Hvar Channels.
If the Croatian coast is your holiday destination and the place where you want to enjoy the magic of the top-class gastronomy, you can taste the St. James scallop in numerous restaurants. It is mainly served as a starter, and restaurant owners will jokingly say that locals can also eat it as dessert.
If you go along the Adriatic highway from Zadar towards Split, we certainly recommend you to stop at Podsolarsko, a place only 4 km away from the centre of Šibenik housing the conspicuous Barun Restaurant, famous for superb fish specialties.
“St. James scallop is a highly esteemed shell and is in high demand. It is so because this is a superb shell that cannot leave anybody indifferent with its taste. We always have fresh fish and our guests know that very well" – the staff at the Barun says. Scallops are also always served fresh at the Diklo Školjke Tavern in Zadar where guests are prone to ordering St. James as a starter, mainly by piece.
Guests of Skradin also love scallops, and the Skala Restaurant says that due to their guests' requirements, they have to have a diverse offer, however scallops are dominating and are in demand. The food is delicious, and St. James is a very esteemed starter.