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I'm having a Moules Marinieres craving, and need to buy mussels. I've bought most recently at WF (River street) and they were lousy- It was good that I bought two bags, because over 50% were already opened and therefore probably not safe to eat (according to conventional wisdom).
The ones that were edible were small and somewhat stringy, not plump and succulent.

Any suggestions on a better place to buy them? I work in Boston, live in Cambridge, extra points if it's open until 6:30/ 7 so I can get there tonight, although for the perfect mussels I could wait and make a field trip tomorrow.

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  1. Try calling New Deal and Court House in Cambridge.

    1. I've gotten perfectly fine mussels at Shaw's for only $2.50/lb, even cheaper when they're on sale. Out of a 2-lb bag I only threw away 3 or 4 mussels, not bad.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sourcandy

        I have also bought very fresh mussels at Shaws and threw out very few for a great price. The one time I bought mussels at Whole Foods 3/4 of them were bad even though I usually get all my seafood there. Shaws mussels are the way to go.

      2. New Deal is great. I got some at Whole Foods a few weeks ago. Can't remember how much, but they were pretty inexpensive.


        1 Reply
        1. re: kristinayee

          Thanks for the tip on New Deal, I'll try to get there before 7 tonight!

        2. Mercato del Mare at 99 Salem Street in the North End. They are open til 8pm. They have been showcased on Chronicle 2x. Their fish is always fresh and the company is also great!


          1. I make mussels every other week or so and I've always been satisfied with the ones from WF (Newton). Quality seems to be fairly high although some are quite small. My most recent 2-lb bag ($5) had no rejects. I've had as many as 1/2 dozen rejects in a 2-lb bag, mostly from cracked shells. I always give the open ones a tap and let them sit while I'm rinsing the others to give them a chance to close. I also have bought from Roche Brothers and Sudbury Farms, who are much cheaper at $1.79/lb. They seemed to have a few more dead ones, with less cracked shells, since the fish guy hand-picks them.

            1. Hook's Lobster sells Prince Edward Island mussels - have always been excellent.

              1. being open is not a disqualifier for mussels.
                not closing when tapped is though.

                1. I noticed this with the last few bags of mussels from WF too ... lots had to be discarded (didn't close when tapped) and very small. They weren't from PEI, though, they were from Maine.

                  Stop n Shop didn't have them when I needed them. I'll hit up New Deal and see if they've got the superior PEI product. Shaws is a good tip too.

                  1. I've been getting great Mussels at WF in Wayland. The ones from Maine have been tightly closed with no dead ones/broken shells/etc. Very fresh sweet flavor! I don't mind smaller ones they have the best flavor IMHO. Steamed in Ale and with the broth enriched with mustard and a bit of butter. Yum!

                    1. Thanks for all the suggestions hounders!
                      I ended up getting some from Courthouse seafood, and they were great. There were a couple of cracked shells, but overall very few rejects, and they were plump and tasty.
                      The star of the evening though was home-made frites- lots of time cutting matchsticks, but boy were they tasty!

                      Will try some of the other suggestions- esp. Hook's lobster and Mercato del Mare, since they're right near my office.