The abalone is a marine gastropod (snail), distinguished from other gastropods by its flat shell. There are many species of abalone, but all feed on algae and have the distinctive shell shape.

Their meat is supposed to be quite tasty and can be very expensive. Overfishing, pollution, and climate factors have decreased the population of wild abalone, which in North America are caught mainly off the coast of California. Many aquaculture businesses exist to meet the high demand for abalone meat, and farm-raised abalone is much less expensive than the wild variety.

Abalone shells are often used to make jewelry and other decorative items. Abalone pearls are much rarer than oyster pearls and are dark in color, resembling opals.

A seafood delicacy. This shellfish is prized in much of Asia for its unique taste. You can make a soup out of it or steam it. The Japanese make sushi out of it sometimes.

Due to the rarity of abalone, it is extremely expensive, and hence served in very small servings. Badly cooked abalone (usually by overcooking) would be tough and stringy, and not possess much of its original flavor. I can't really describe the taste of abalone because it is quite unique. It isn't like other shellfish, it is very different actually. It does bear some resemblace to chicken, but somewhat sweeter.

My favorite way to consume abalone is by making a soup out of it. The Chinese way to serve the soup is to cook it and leave the abalone in the soup as you serve it. It is usually served before the main course, and it is an excellent appetizer.

History: Abalone is a board game, created by Michel Lalet and Laurent Levi of the Abalone Games Corp.
It was selected as one of the Mensa strategy games of the year in 1990.

The board is hexagonal in shape, and each player has 14 marbles. Players alternate moving from one to three marbles that lie in a row in any one direction, provided there are open spaces. If you have numerical superiority, you can push your opponents marbles one space. The object of the game is to push 6 of your opponent's marbles off the board.

Ab`a*lo"ne (#), n. Zool.

A univalve mollusk of the genus Haliotis. The shell is lined with mother-of-pearl, and used for ornamental purposes; the sea-ear. Several large species are found on the coast of California, clinging closely to the rocks.


© Webster 1913.

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