I love mussels. They are so underrated and so misunderstood. I’ve made them in the past on the blog, they are perfect for a date night or a quick weeknight meal. They take literally no time to prepare.
At the ChefConnect in Baltimore, I met with the fine folks who represent the Prince Edward Island mussels industry.
First, what are mussels? To those of you who do not know, mussels are in the bivalve family of shellfish.
Second, what is a Prince Edward Island Mussel? First, Prince Edward Island is an area of Canada that produces over 80% of the cultured mussels in North America. So PEI mussels are grown and harvested in this area of the world.
So in order to grow or farm mussels, they are grown on a rope. A rope? Yeah a ROPE! The rope comes in handy, it allows the mussels to never have to touch the bottom, in turn you get no grit or sand in the mussels. There’s a good chance that if you are eating mussels in the U.S. you are eating PEI mussels.
PEI mussels are farmed and have been recognized by environmental groups as sustainable. Fun fact, the mussel shells reduce greenhouse gases from the ocean, the ocean uses the CO2 to make the shells.
So here are some awesome mussel based facts:
– Mussels are low in fat.
-They are an excellent source of lean protein.
– They are high in Omega 3’s.
– There is more Iron & Vitamin B12 per serving in mussels that beef.
-When they are grown, nothing is added so the mussels are grown in their natural habitat.
So we get it mussels are pretty much the best thing around and should be classified as a super food. So how do you cook these bad boys?
This is the true beauty of mussels. They are SO easy. Especially PEI mussels, because you don’t have to remove the beard. What’s the beard? The beard is what allows the mussel to attach to its host location.
I always just rinse my mussels with some cool water and then I saute some garlic in butter and white wine and a few tablespoons of chicken broth. Once it begins to steam and foam, add your mussels. As soon as they open up, they are ready to eat (about 2 or 3 minutes).
If your mussels don’t open, throw those away, those are bad. Also if your mussels are open before you cook them, throw those away too, those are no bueno. So if you haven’t already tried mussels, stop sitting around, go and buy some NOW! Get on the mussel bandwagon before they become too cool for school.