Blog July 5, 2024

Let’s Flex Some Mussels

Let’s Flex Some Mussels 

Mussels: A Dive into Their Rich History and Culinary Tradition

Mussels, those delectable bivalves from the sea, have a history as rich as their flavor. From ancient times to modern gastronomy, mussels have played a significant role in various cuisines around the world. In this blog post, we will dive deep into the history and culinary tradition of mussels, unraveling their origins, recipes, and much more.

The Origin Story of Mussels

Mussels have a long history dating back to ancient times. The earliest records of mussel consumption can be traced to the indigenous coastal communities of North America and Europe. Native Americans and European settlers utilized mussels as a staple food source due to their abundance in coastal regions.

Mussels in Ancient Cuisine

In ancient Rome, mussels were considered a delicacy and were often served at lavish banquets. The Romans cultivated mussels in ponds, a practice that eventually spread to other parts of Europe. This culinary tradition continued into the Middle Ages, where mussels were a popular dish among the common people.

Mussels in Modern Gastronomy

Today, mussels have secured their place in modern gastronomy. They are commonly featured in various dishes, such as moules marinières, a classic French preparation with white wine and shallots. In Belgium, moules-frites (mussels with fries) is a national dish.

Cooking with Mussels: A World of Possibilities

Mussels are incredibly versatile and can be prepared in countless ways. Whether steamed, grilled, or fried, they absorb the flavors of the ingredients they are cooked with, making them a perfect canvas for culinary creativity.

 Are mussels healthy to eat?Yes, mussels are highly nutritious. They are a rich source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, including vitamin B12, iron, and selenium.

How do I clean and debeard mussels? Yes, Virginia they have beard

To clean mussels, scrub the shells and remove any barnacles. Debeard them by pulling off the tough, stringy threads protruding from the shell.

Can I cook mussels at home even if I’m not a professional chef?

 Absolutely! Cooking mussels is straightforward. Try a simple recipe like garlic butter mussels for a delicious homemade dish. (my favorite way to eat them)

Conclusion

Mussels, with their storied history and culinary adaptability, continue to captivate the taste buds of food enthusiasts worldwide. Whether you enjoy them as a classic French delicacy or in a spicy Thai curry, mussels offer a unique and flavorful experience that connects us to centuries of culinary tradition. So, why not embark on a culinary adventure and savor the delectable taste of mussels for yourself? Their journey from ancient times to modern kitchens is a testament to their enduring appeal in the world of gastronomy.

People has been eating mussels for 20,000 years. · They can live up to 50 years. · Mussels have a high amount of B12 and it’s very beneficial Mussels, you might say, are the ocean’s response to a savory, chewy snack.

10 Intresting Facts About Mussels:

1. You can eat an unopened mussel

You’ve probably heard that if a mussel doesn’t open during cooking, you must throw it out. Well, I am not here to tell you that isn’t necessary.

When a mussel doesn’t open, it doesn’t mean that it’s off. It simply means that it has super strong adductor muscles that just won’t budge. You can prier it open with a knife and it will still be fine to eat.

This is a myth that has persisted for no good reason. So, let’s set the record straight with the mussel facts!

2. Mussels are good for the ocean

Not only do they taste great, mussels are a crucial part of healthy marine ecosystems. Without mussels, the ocean and her inhabitants wouldn’t fare so well. And that’s because mussels are natural filter feeders.

Every day, a single mussel will filter up to 20 litres of seawater, removing phytoplankton and sediment. They essentially vacuum as they grow.

3. Mussels have more iron than fillet steak

It’s quite amazing to think that such a small morsel can have so much iron, but it does.

Mussels are a great source of iron. They are a lean protein and will keep you feeling fuller for longer.

Steamed mussels are healthy, delicious and super easy to prepare.

4. There are male and female mussels

Have you ever wondered why some mussels are orange and others are white? It all comes down to gender.

The orange mussels are female and the creamy white mussels are male. Both have the same rich, sweet flavor you love.

How’s that for a mussel fact?

5. Mussels pack a vitamin punch

We’ve told you that mussels are full of protein and iron, but they also contain a raft of other vitamins that make them a delicious healthy choice.

In every mussel, you will find omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A and B12, zinc, iodine and selenium. Those vitamins and minerals can help improve brain function, reduce inflammatory conditions, regulate thyroid hormones and contribute to your overall immune system and healthy eyes and glowing skin.

6. Mussels have beards

Mussels were the original hipsters! The beard on a mussel – aka the byssus – is less about aesthetics and more about functionality.

As the mussel develops, it grows a mass of threads which it uses to secure itself to a solid surface where it will continue to grow.

Before you eat a mussel, you need to remove the beard. Premium mussels are already debearded – no mess, no fuss!

7. Mussels are farmed on longlines

This method of mussel farming actually has a number of benefits. Firstly, by capturing the wild spat (baby mussels) and reseeding them onto longline ropes, it gives them plenty of room to grow into their shells.

Secondly, because the mussels are suspended above the ocean floor, you won’t find any grit or sediment inside them like you would otherwise.

And finally, the cotton sock we use to secure the mussels to the ropes while the beard grows is biodegradable. It leaves no trace behind, making mussels an exceptionally sustainable seafood.

8. Mussels are cooked live

If you cook a dead mussel, not only will it taste off but it is also a food safety issue. Mussels must be cooked live.

We developed our SeaSure packaging to keep them alive and well in their journey to your dinner plate. In every packet we add an extra dose of oxygen saturated water to keep the mussels stress free. A stress free mussel is a sweet mussel.

9. You will smell an off mussel before you taste it

If it’s not the case that the bad mussels are the ones that don’t open when they are cooked, how do you tell if a mussel is bad? The answer is – with your nose.

You will always smell a bad mussel long before you taste it. It’s not a smell you can miss, nor is it one you can easily forget.

Remember to eat with your nose and you’ll be right!

10. Mussels are flavor carriers

Mussels are a versatile source of protein. Whatever flavours you pair them with, they soak up the flavor and enhance the dish.

From garlic mussels to chill mussels, mussels in white wine or laksa mussels, there are so many flavor combinations and mussel recipes you can try to suit every palate.

Mussels with Tomatoes and Garlic

Ingredients

2 Tbsp. butter

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes

1/2 c. dry white wine

2 Tbsp. freshly chopped parsley, plus more for garnish

kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 lb. mussels, scrubbed and debearded

Grilled bread, for serving

Directions

Step 1

In a pot over medium-low heat, melt butter. Add onion and cook until fragrant and soft, 5 minutes, then add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.

Step 2

Add diced tomatoes, wine, and parsley and stir until combined. Season with salt and pepper.

Step 3

Add mussels and simmer until all shells are open, 7-8 minutes. (Discard any shells that aren’t open.)

Step 4

Garnish with more parsley and serve with grilled bread.

Enjoy!