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Mussels Buying, cleaning 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.


Production of Mussels

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 water.

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 inner attachment.

The mussels are ready for cooking.

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Philippe Broad, Cyberchef

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