Also known as:
Pacific blue mussel, Northern bay mussel, Edible mussel, Foolish mussel, common mussels
, black mussels
, New Zealand or Asian green mussels
, Zebra mussels
, Quagga mussels
, and pile mussels
can be found along the Atlantic, Pacific and Mediterranean coasts. They are also frequently farmed.
Depending on the species, shells can be anywhere from 1 1/2 to 6 inches in length. Shell colors range from an indigo blue (the most common) to bright green to a yellowish-brown. All mussels
' shells are thin and oblong in shape. Mussels
are best bought in their shells so they should appear much as they do in water. The meat of the mussel is cream, tan, or pale orange.
are excellent steamed, baked, and fried. As with almost all shellfish, overcooking tends to make mussels
chewy and tough. They are also popular as additions to pasta dishes, seafood soups like bouillabaisse and Spanish dishes like paella.
Buy them live and fresh. Buy mussels
with tightly closed shells or those that snap shut when tapped this is how you know that they're still alive. Those with broken and heavy shells should be avoided as should those that feel too light seem loose when shaken. Finally, as with many fish, smaller mussels
tend to be more tender than their larger siblings.
The general guideline commonly used when buying mussels
is to allow one pound (450 g) of mussels
in the shell per person for a main dish and one-half pound (225 g) per person for a side dish or appetizer.
(cooked, moist heat), 3 oz. (84.9g)
Total Fat: 3.8g
Excellent source* of: Selenium (76mcg), and Vitamin B12 (20mcg)
Good source* of: Zinc (2.3mg), and Folate (64mcg)
*Foods that are an “excellent source” of a particular nutrient provide 20% or more of the Recommended Daily Value. Foods that are a “good source” of a particular nutrient provide between 10 and 20% of the Recommended Daily Value.Mussels
are not a source of omega-3 fatty acids.
seasons are different from coast to coast. On the East Coast, fresh mussels
are available year round. On the West Coast, fresh mussels
are only available from November through April. Mussels
harvested at other times on the West Coast may be contaminated by microscopic organisms.