Mussels are a prevalent seafood found 'wild' in saltwater rivers along the Canadian Atlantic ocean. Mussels are mollusks and filter iron from seawater to produce an adhesive plaque which they use to attach themselves to rocks and seaweed. In low-tied they are easily gathered in ‘mussel beds’ found in shallow water or under clumps of seaweed that is still alive but not underwater.
After gathering the mussels we rinsed them with water and made sure to removed all the small rocks, pebbles and seaweed.
Wild caught mussels have 'beards'- a bristly growth on the seam of the shell- used to attach themselves to rocks. It is a bit labor intensive but the best way to remove the beard is to pull it off, towards the hinged part of the shell, with your fingers.
This should be done immediately before cooking.
Mussels are a good source of Selenium which stimulates the metabolism and immune system and protects cells from free radical damage. They are high in vitamin B12, zinc, folic acid, iron and calcium.
When gathering wild mussels it is important to be informed as to the conditions of the water- areas that are free of bacteria and have constant moving water are ideal. When in doubt ask!
We seamed ours in a pot with some carrots at the bottom- a cup of white wine, garlic, onions, diced tomatoes and herbs from the garden. Mussels don't need water added to them as they will cook in their own water. Make sure to save the water to use as a nutritious stock.
|From the pot|
|To the table|
Do you like to eat mussels?
What is your favorite way to cook them/eat them?