Blue Mussels From Eyre Peninsula
Blue Mussels - Mytilus Galloprovincialis
Mussels are grown on long lines, suspended in the water table from 3 -20 metres and are harvested by pulling the lines in and stripping them of mussels.
Mussels are a passive aquaculture system, which means it does not require feed. Coupled with their rapid growth and zero output make them a number one sustainable choice – Kinkawooka Mussels have gained Friend of the Sea certification; while Boston Bay Mussels has earned NASAA organic certification as well as the use of the National Heart Foundation Tick logo.
Following guidelines set out under the Australian Shellfish Quality Assurance Program the waters where shellfish grow and the shellfish are routinely tested to ensure that the shellfish is safe for human consumption. Shellfish should only be sold from approved growing areas.
Mussels in the Eyre Peninsula are harvested 12 months of the year because the major farming operations have multiple growing sites. However, Petit Bouchet mussels are only available from June until September.
The external shell should be clean. Once opened, look for plump, fullness of the gonad and either a strong orange/peach (female) or creamy white (male) colour.
Methods to market
The majority of mussels from the Eyre Peninsula are sold in 1kg pre-packed, scrubbed, cleaned and de-bearded “pot ready” form.
However they are also available in 500g to 4kg pot ready sizes; and 5kg or 20kg. A cooked in the bag-chilled mussel is also available in single serve units.
Handling & storage
Live “pot ready” mussels are sent to market with a 10 day shelf life from day of production. The packs should be stored at <6°C to ensure the live mussel is kept alive without being subject to thermal abuse. Pre-packed mussels should be left in their bag until time of use. The mussels should be emptied from their bag and rinsed quickly under fresh water prior to use. Loose mussels should be stored at 4-8°C and should be checked for dead and broken mussels prior to de-byssing (de-bearding) immediately prior to use.
Fresh v frozen
Live mussels (either loose or pot ready) cannot be frozen as the flesh will not reconstitute – if freezing is necessary, the mussels should be blanched first.
Good quality mussels will have a meat to shell ratio of greater than 38%
The external shell should be clean, free from over catch, diret or worm and “pot ready” mussels should be cleaned of their byssal thread (beard). Cooked mussels should be full in the shell and will be either orange/peach (female) or cream (male) in colour.
Blue Mussels from the Eyre Peninsula will have a clean sweet fresh seaweed aroma with savoury hints of spiced saffron when cooked.
Eyre Peninsula mussels have a sweet, rich flavour with a light, mild brininess and egg yolk characteristic.
The initial mouth feel is silky smooth with the interior of the mussel having a mousse like texture.
Mussels are high in iron, protein, selenium, iodine and omega 3.
Mussels will retain a high moisture content if not overcooked.
Boston Bay mussels are highly versatile, absorbing flavour readily. Well suited to steaming, poaching, roasting, baking, wok frying. Steamed meat extracted from the shell can be coated.
Mussels not opened after cooking can be eaten, gently prize open with a butter knife. If they don’t have a clean oceanic aroma, don’t eat.