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Jul 11, 2000 10:21 PM

mussels must be spanky-clean?

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I use the farm raised PEI ones, and it's a pain to scrape off all those little tiny adhesions on the outside of the shell in addition to pulling out the "beards."

A restaurant guy I know said he doesn't scrub 'em that much, just rinses 'em good in salt water.

Can anyone say from experience whether those little pimple-looking adhesions on the outside of the mussel shells make a difference in taste/cleanliness? I wouldn't worry except that I enjoy the sauce the shellfish are cooked in, of course.

Your thoughts?

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  1. Those little "adhesions" are a kind of growth
    similar to a barnacle. They are not at all harmful. The only problem is that sometimes they retain a grain
    or two of sand that may end up in the sauce or in your
    mouth. I used to soak mussels for about an hour
    before cooking to make them let go of all their sand
    but I found that soaking dilutes that intense mussel
    flavor. I get better results now that I just pull off the beards, scrub and cook.
    (Mmm! Now I'm hungry and it's only 6:30 a.m.!)