Whether you are ordering them out with frites or whipping up at a batch at home, mussels are one of those all or nothing foods. When they are of high quality, plump and fresh, they can be complimented by a delicious broth (my favorite always involves curry) but when they are tiny, dry, and a bit pathetic looking, there is nothing even the most delicious sauce can do. And yeah, this may be true of anything, as quality is king, but with mussels it’s always been a bit more frustrating.
The reason being, it seems like a complete crap shoot. You hope that your favorite restaurants carefully select their seafood minimizing this issue, but what about at home? Unlike a piece of salmon or even a juicy steak, we don’t have much say on the matter of choosing. Often these mussels are pre-bundled in a 2 lb bag or even if they are not, how can you tell if what you are receiving is hiding that quality shell fish under that dark and clamped shell.
So it was with great excitement that I took my first bite of these rosemary and curry mussels to find some of the best quality I’ve ever come across. Perfectly sized (not big and chewy or small and puny), and with that wonderful straight from the sea flavor. The rosemary and curry helped season the simple white wine broth studded with garlic and spring onion complimenting the natural flavor of the mussels perfectly. The only thing missing here was some crusty bread to sop it all up! I can only hope the next batch is just as good!
Any stories of your own in dealing with this mussel mystery?