How to Buy and Cook Mussels

Long a well kept secret of New England fisherman, the black mussel continues to gain popularity. Here are some tips on how to buy mussels, plus a classic recipe for fresh steamed mussels.

steamed mussels How to Buy and Cook Mussels

  • Mussels today are usually cultivated–they are much cleaner than wild mussels, and their “beards”  are much smaller.
  • Farm-raised mussels do not require purging to release sand. If desired, rinse them with cold water. Do not soak in water or they might die.
  •  Discard any mussels  with cracked or broken shells , or whose shells remain open.
  • Look for deep blue-black, tightly closed shells. If the shells are open, tap them; discard any mussels that don’t close.
  • Mussels  are live and need to breath, so  do not place them in air-tight plastic bags.
  • Mussels release quite a bit of liquid, which adds wonderful flavor to the broth.

Classic Steamed Mussels

4 pounds of fresh mussels
2 tablespoons olive oil
lemon juice
Garlic Clove
1/2 cup white wine
parsley sprigs

Cooking Mussels:
In a large pot , heat olive oil, add sliced onion and 3 to 5 cloves of chopped garlic cloves. Saute for 4-5 minutes, then add 1/2 cup of white wine, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, and a few parsley springs. Add the mussels and steam until they open, about 8-10 minutes, occasionally turn the mussels with a large spoon. Transfer the open mussels to a bowl. Strain cooking liquid over the mussels and serve with crusty bread. Try a Pinot Blanc or Muscadet to bring out the flavor.

Have fresh mussels shipped to your door, courtesy of Served in five-star restaurants around the world, mussels from the clean, cold waters of Prince Edward Island are acclaimed for their tender meat and incomparably rich flavor.

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