Abalone, Glossary and Terms, Meat, Fish, Fruit, Grocery Food Stores

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"Abalone"

Abalone are shellfish of the univalve family, meaning they only have one shell, unlike bivalves such as clams that consist of two shells. This edible gastropod belongs to the same family as the sea slug and is related to the snail. Out of its shell, it resembles a large scallop. They are found in United States, Japan, Australia, Mexico, and Indo-Pacific Region. On the Pacific coast, they are found on rocky inter-tidal and sub-tidal areas from Baja California to Alaska, as each species prefers a particular habitat, which appears related to the local sea temperature. They are also called ear shells, or sea ears (as their shape resembles the human ear). Also called Awabi in Japanese cuisine and Loco in South American cuisine. Since the abalone has been over-harvested, it is very expensive when available.
History: Abalone has lived along the Pacific coast of North America for millions of years. Fossilized shells have been found in sediments that are approximately 100 million years old. In more recent times, abalone were important in the economy of all native American peoples who dwelled in California's coastal areas. Native Americans were using abalone for food, implements, and decoration long before the arrival of Europeans in North America

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