How to Eat Mussels
There are so many ways to prepare and serve mussels but the most popular I believe is to steam the mussels, in their shell, inside a sauce or broth. This Mussels in Tomato and White Wine Sauce is just fabulous.
Usually, mussels are eaten with your fingers, a fork, and spoon and accompanied by a bowl to place all of your empty shells. Also you will need a bowl with a slice of lemon to clean your fingers or a pile of napkins!
Many people do not try certain foods because they aren't sure exactly how best to eat them and mussels fall into that category. If this is you, you don't know what you've been missing. Have a look below and I will show you how to eat mussels in a white wine cream sauce.
In one hand you pick up and hold the shell, widen shell opening if necessary using your thumbs, remove the mussel with your fork, dip it in your sauce, catching a few vegetables while you do and eat it all in one tasty bite.
You can also loosen the mussel in its shell with your fork, bring the shell to your mouth by your hand, pour the mussel with all of the juices from the shell into your mouth and enjoy!
Place empty shell in your designated bowl.
Using your fork, spoon or better yet a crusty slice of bread, dip and scoop your vegetables and enjoy your sauce until you have had enough!
How To Clean and Debeard Mussels
As of late, the majority of the mussels that are available for purchase in grocery stores are from farms where they are kept in containers where impurties can be easily monitored and removed.
As a result, generally, you only need to rinse your mussels off with water once you get them home.
It is easy enough to clarify, just ask where your mussels are from at the fish counter, at the time you purchase them. Then you will have all of the information you need!
Usually, the processing of farmed mussels will clean most of the shells for you but just in case a few are missed, here is how you check and prepare them before cooking, no matter which recipe you use.
After you have done all of this once or twice you should be able to get a few pounds of mussels totally ready in less than 20 minutes.
When you get your mussels home you will need to go through them all, one by one. First, you need to check to make sure that each shell is tightly closed and discard any that are cracked or broken.
You should also be looking for little things and strings that are hanging off of the mussel and remove them with a knife by scraping the outside of the shell, pull the strings and such off with your fingers or scrub them off with a scouring pad to remove as you possibly can.
Some of your mussels will be cleaner than others and that is totally normal.
Ultimately, you are trying to get the shells of your mussels to look as clean as possible.
This will sound strange but if any of your mussels are open, even ever so slightly, just tap the shell lightly on your sink or wherever you are sorting them and any mussels that do not close tightly within a couple minutes, discard them too.
If your mussel is alive the tapping of the shell should cause a reaction where the mussel closes its shell automatically, within a couple minutes. If the mussel doesn't close its shell it is dead and needs to be discarded or risk you getting sick.
What is the Beard of the Mussel?
The area where the two shells meet will likely have the most strings hanging off of and around it. This is considered the "beard" of the mussel.
The beard of the mussel is actually technically called byssus threads, and it looks like fine brownish colored seaweed. These threads are used by the mussel to attach itself to rocks, and the like, in the inshore or coastal waters of the ocean.
These threads that are the beard of the mussel are not harmful to you in any way they just may affect the taste in a negative way.
How do you Store Fresh Mussels?
In an Uncovered Container with a Cloth