Note from Ricardo
The price is right! Mussels are among the least-expensive seafood: A 2-lb (1 kg) bag costs around $5 and can serve two people as a main dish. Plus, mussels cook quickly and are low in calories (provided they’re not eaten along with too many fries!).
1. Use an empty mussel shell as you eat to serve as tongs, pulling the flesh out of other mussels. Then, use a larger shell as a spoon for tasting the broth. The kids will love it.
2. Apparently, it is best to keep the byssus—the bundle of mussel filaments that allows them to cling to rocks or stakes—intact when cooking mussels. The byssus help create a more flavourful broth. Of course, it is a matter of taste.
3. If any mussels are open before cooking, give its shell a slight tap. If the mussel closes, it is still alive and can be cooked. If it does not close, it must be discarded as it is dead. And once cooked, you must also discard any mussels that have remained closed.
4. Fresh mussels can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. Ideally, they are placed in a container covered with a damp cloth, never in a closed plastic bag. Mussels, like oysters, need to breathe.