and preparing the Mussels|
In many production areas, mussels are cultivated on thick wooden piles
driven into the seabed. Harvesting takes place at low tide. An able
fisherman can harvest up to 3 tonnes a day.
The ideal season for mussels in the northern hemisphere is July through
to the end of January.
As a general rule, do not buy mussels which are open or have broken
shells. If they are still bunched together with algae, so much the better-
they are more likely to have retained their natural juices than if they
have been mechanically cleaned.
Unless you are using solely the
mussels without one or both their shells, it is essential to clean them.
Scrape the shells with a small knife to remove algae, small barnacles,
etc. Then plunge them into a basin of cold running water and brush the
shells or rub them briskly and noisilly one against the other to get them
nice and clean. Do NOT let them stand in water, they will open and loose
their natural juices. Discard any mussels which float to the top of the
Once the cleaning is finished, remove the "beard" or small
tuft protruding from the mussel on its straight flank, by drawing this
outwards towards the rounded end, so as to remove the "beard" and its
The mussels are ready for cooking.
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