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TIPS: Buying, cleaning and preparing Mussels

As a general rule, do not buy mussels which are open or have broken shells. 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. If you 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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