A mussel is black colored shellfish that is edible.


Other names: moules, bivalve
Translations: Gliemene, Midija, Midii, Dagnja, Con trai, Omułek, Mossel, एक प्रकार की कौड़ी, Mexilhão, Мидия, Μύδι, بلح البحر, 늪말조개, Slávka, Дагња, Paros, 蚌, Musclo, Klapavica, Slávka, Mitilo, שבלול, Remis, イガイ, Moule, Muschel, Blåskjell, Mejillón, Мідія, Simpukka, Мида

Physical Description

The mussel's external shell is composed of two hinged halves or "valves". The valves are joined together on the outside by a ligament, and are closed when necessary by strong internal muscles. Mussel shells carry out a variety of functions, including support for soft tissues, protection from predators and protection against desiccation.

The shell has three layers. In the pearly mussels there is an inner iridescent layer of nacre (mother-of-pearl) composed of calcium carbonate, which is continuously secreted by the mantle; the prismatic layer, a middle layer of chalky white crystals of calcium carbonate in a protein matrix; and the periostracum, an outer pigmented layer resembling a skin. The periostracum is composed of a protein called conchin, and its function is to protect the prismatic layer from abrasion and dissolution by acids (especially important in freshwater forms where the decay of leaf materials produces acids).

Colors: Basically Mussels is composed of 4-5 color all at the same time, but its primary color is dark bluish green

Tasting Notes

Flavors: sweet
Mouthfeel: Meaty, Juicy, Chewy
Food complements: Coconut milk, Curry, Shallots, Garlic
Wine complements: White wine, Sauvignon blanc, Pinot blanc, Pinot gris, Pinot noir, Trebbiano, Orvieto, Sparkling wine, Muscadet
Beverage complements: Beer
Substitutes: Clams

Selecting and Buying

Seasonality: january, february, march, april, september, opctober, november, december
Peak: january, february, march, opctober, november, december
Choosing: Mussels that are still alive have shells that are partly open and will slowly shut when you tap on it
Buying: You can buy fresh mussels early in the morning at your local wet market.

Buy mussels that are freshly caught and are still alive.

Procuring: Common folklore suggests that you should only eat mussels in months that have an R in them.
Marine mussels are abundant in the low and mid intertidal zone in temperate seas globally.

Other species of marine mussel live in tropical intertidal areas, but not in the same huge numbers as in temperate zones.

Certain species of marine mussels prefer salt marshes or quiet bays, while others thrive in pounding surf, completely covering wave-washed rocks. Some species have colonized abyssal depths near hydrothermal vents. The South African white mussel exceptionally doesn't bind itself to rocks but burrows into sandy beaches extending two tubes above the sand surface for ingestion of food and water and exhausting wastes.

Freshwater mussels inhabit permanent lakes, rivers, canals and streams throughout the world except in the polar regions. They require a constant source of cool, clean water. They prefer water with a substantial mineral content, using calcium carbonate to build their shells.

Preparation and Use

Mussels can be grilled, boiled, or steamed.

Discard mussels that are still closed shut even after cooking

Cleaning: Remove the mussels "beard" by pulling on it or cutting it with scissors

Conserving and Storing

Storing mussels is a bad idea. Mussels should be served quickly after coming from market. It creates bad toxins, while losing its freshness that can lead to food poisoning.
For short term storage, pack mussels in ice and keep in the fridge until ready for use. Store them in the coolest part of your fridge for at least 3 days


Humans have used mussels as food for thousands of years and continue to do so. In Belgium, the Netherlands, and France, mussels are consumed with french fries ("mosselen met friet" or "moules frites") or bread. In France, the Éclade des Moules is a mussel bake popular along the beaches of the Bay of Biscay. In Italy, mussels are often mixed with other sea food, or eaten with pasta. In Turkey, mussels are either covered with flour and fried on shishs ('midye tava'), or filled with rice and served cold ('midye dolma') and are usually consumed with alcohol (mostly with raki or beer). In Cantonese cuisine, mussels are cooked in a broth of garlic and fermented black bean. In New Zealand, they are served in a chili-based vinaigrette.

During the second World War in the United States, mussels were commonly served in diners. This was due to the unavailability of red meat related to wartime rationing. They are used in Ireland boiled and seasoned with vinegar, with the "bray" or boiling water as a supplementary hot drink.

History: No one really knows when Mussels were first eaten by man. Scientist says that mussels existed long before dinosaurs roamed the world (and they are hundred times more bigger than what they are right now).



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