Klara...it's like goin' black, ya never go back....lol If you ever get a chance to try it, do it! It can be compared to Keys chonch...but it think has an even sweeter taste. Both are delicious! Hahaha...the muscles are there, but the wrinkles are bigger...lol
Abalone still on the menu here in China, I am allergic to many shellfish but was tempted to try just in case I was among the last on the planet to taste this drfiting toward extintion mollusc. If I remember correctly one abalone on a plate with sauce 'stuff' was 180 Yuan = 18 British Pounds = about 23 dollars.
I was a commercial abalone diver in California in my early days. They were so abundant that at low tide ya could pick the A"tougher" ones, the "blacks" off the rocks. The law is now so stringent on the West coast that divers are very limited in there take. They are so delicious and so in demand that, yes, we humans almost took them to extinction.
I don't recall the last time I had real abalone - these days I make calamari steak so that it tastes almost exactly like abalone - can't tell the difference - and a whole lot cheaper too - I wrote a hub about it even and a recipe there so you can make it yourself - remember to pound it so it will be tender - that's the real secret.
Calamari (squid) and abalone taste nothing like each other. The Conchs of the Keys in Florida have a "foot" much like that of abalone. It can be eaten raw in "conch" salad. The "foot" of the abalone has to be beaten to tenderize it so that it can be chewed. The taste is like no other sea creature I've, ever, had to pleasure eat. When people think snails they stick up there noses, but this is one salt water escargot that has to be tried.