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Muddy-tasting mussels

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We have mussels probably once a month. Very simple prep -- steamed just until opened in a covered pan with onions, garlic, white wine.

Last night we did everything the same as usual, with mussels from our usual seafood store. They were awful! They tasted muddy, and most were stringy instead of plump and juicy.

I'm not positive where the mussels were from -- PEI, Canada?

Is there a chance it was something I did? Or just a bad batch? If it were you, would you call the seafood market and complain or just let it go?

Thanks for insights. We love mussels, but this literally left such a bad taste in our mouths, it'll take a while to have them again.

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  1. It's not you.
    Yes, call the market and ask for a replacement and urge them to reconsider their source.
    The mussels were past their prime- so far that they were eating their own flesh to stay alive.

    3 Replies
    1. re: monavano

      eeeuuuuwwww

      self-cannibalism. sounds contradictory? destroy yourself to save yourself? poor mussels. what an existential dilemma!

      for some reason i wondered if it had something to do with the phase of the reproductive cycle. but this seems unlikely if the whole batch was like that.

      1. re: alkapal

        Shrunken mussels just gross me out! I feel like I'm eating something that was very sick before it died.

        1. re: monavano

          "mussels without muscles." sally struthers should blubber through a marathon for this poor species. ;-).

    2. Keep in mind, this is the reproductive time of the year for mussels. The old tale of never eat shelfish in months with an R might apply.

      1. Last time I looked, April has an r in it.

        4 Replies
        1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

          Like I said, never eat Shelfish in a month with an R.

          1. re: josephlapusata

            I thought with farming this old tale didn't really apply anymore?

            1. re: josephlapusata

              I believe it's the other way around. Only eat during months with an R.

              1. re: miss_belle

                yep -- i remember that because of the oyster feasts my sister has in the fall and winter -- near the holidays. and the political oyster roast they always have here right before november elections.

          2. I've had good luck with the fresh packed mussels at Costco---they are from British Columbia. The package allows oxygen in and they are dated for freshness.

            1 Reply
            1. re: applgrl

              Ya they are very tasty. From about thirty miles north of here.
              I'm guessing the mussels you got weren't properly handled.