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Vac-packed fresh mussels

April 1, 2012

There have been some major innovations the last few years with packaging for mussels on PEI. I’m not sure the exact details, but I think they’ve been packaging them with some sort of oxygen concentrate so the package can be sealed while keeping the mussels alive. It gives them a longer shelf life, and makes it easier to ship them live to far-flung places (I saw them when we were in Florida, and I’m sure they go farther than that).

It was about a year ago the guy at the Sobey’s fish counter got me to try one of the vac-packed brands. There’s certainly nothing wrong with them. What you want are big, meaty mussels, and that has more to do with what bay they came from and when they were harvested than any kind of packaging.

One downside for Islanders is that since around the same time the new packaging came out, the cost of fresh mussels at the supermarket rose from around $1 or $1.40 / lb, to $2 / lb, and there it’s stayed. Still a good deal, and no doubt far less than what you pay if you live anywhere else in the world.

One problem we did have last night when we tried this particular brand for the first time, is the mussels required a lot of cleaning. I’ve found for the last few years the mussels I’ve been buying have been very clean, requiring just a rinse rather than a good scrubbing. Not so last night, as my sous-chef will tell you. Next time we’ll go for the traditional 5-lb mesh bag.

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From → Ingredients

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