Scallops are a cold water mollusk, so they certainly are not local, but for my money nothing stands up to a perfectly cooked scallop -- not jumbo lump crab, not lobster.
Amateur cooks almost always overcook scallops. They should be served just a bit rare in the very center, but there is one serious problem there -- they also need to have a serious sear, a nice, crusty brown surface that will contrast with the tender flesh inside.
It takes a practiced hand to do it right, but once you have had them this way, you’ll never accept overcooked again.
Scallops are pricy, there is no doubt, and if you are forced to buy frozen, it will be a sad day. It's another conundrum, right?
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Maybe not. Most fish sellers can order a gallon of fresh scallops for you, and if you go in with three or four friends, and end up with a dozen or so apiece, then it just might become a deal you can afford.
12 fresh scallops
Allow the scallops to warm up a bit, maybe not to room temperature, but not just out of the refrigerator either. Oil the pan, then heat it smoking hot, salt the scallops and carefully place a few at a time in the pan. Do not overcrowd it. Do not walk away. Just stand there, forefinger ready. Give them a minute or so then give them a gentle prod. As the cook they get firmer. It may take some practice, but you want the scallop to give to the touch, not to be hard, or not resilient. Turn once, making sure to get the right sear. Remove and serve at once.