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Mussel mythes busted!

Hello september! As the mussel season has started we all know some myths about mussels? Like, don’t eat closed mussels? Or is it best to soak or cook mussels in milk? Truth or myth..?

1. Months with an "r".

You should only eat mussels in months with an "r", an age-old principle among the "real" mussel lovers. But is this still relevant? The answer is no, except in the spring, you can eat mussels all year round. The mussels reproduce in the spring and this is the main reason why it’s better to “let them be”. In the past, the "r" rule mainly referred to the colder months, which made the crustaceans easier to keep.

2. The silver spoon

This slightly lesser known myth implies that if you put a silver spoon with your mussels, you could detect “mud mussels”.

FYI: a mud mussel is: A mussel that sucks up sand, and is therefore not ideal if it opens in your mussel pot while cooking. But a silver spoon would turn black if the basket contained a mussel full of mud. Which of course will never happen.. Just grab each mussel before cooking. You immediately feel and notice from the weight that something is not right, and you just take it out. Just check mussels that remain at the bottom of your water when rinsing.

3. Milk and mussels?

Rumors say mussels get thicker and possibly more delightful by soaking and cooking them in milk? NO! not at all! Mussels only absorb seawater, not milk. But milk can turn sour and if you soak your mussels in it, which would be a shame, you could possibly just throw them in the away immediately.

4. Mussels cooked too short

Can you cook mussels too short and will it make you sick? Short: no. The crustaceans can even be eaten perfectly raw, although you have to open them with an oyster knife. Mussels al fresco? Perfectly possible .. always make sure they are brand super fresh!

5. The bigger, the better?

Jumbo, premium or just a mix: most people are likely look for the largest mussel to consume. But a large shell does not equal a large volume. And it is certainly not the case that a larger mussel has a better taste or quality. One of the species that produce the largest shells is the hanging culture mussels, possibly not the best quality mussels. Besides size, how you prepare them is certainly of great importance.

6. The fattener.

Do mussels make you fat? Not at all, rather it is the fries and sauces or creme that you eat with it that increase the calories. Mussels in themselves are very healthy, they contain an equal amount of proteins such as meat, but barely 25% of the calories.

7. White and orange mussels.

Some mussels are white and others orange, why? A popular theory is that the white mussels are male, and the orange female, or some say these might be hanging cultures? Nonsense.

You can compare white and orange mussels with our skin color: There is a very small DNA difference. Furthermore, it says nothing about species, gender or taste.

8. The closed mussels.

You can safely open and eat closed mussels yourself. It will not make you sick, these mussels simply have a strong sphincter. You don't have to be afraid not to eat them, on the contrary, they often contain a lot of extra meat.


Always eat mussels as fresh as possible! The majority of mussels must be opened after cooking and, above all, always smell fresh!

As with any food, I always recommend smelling, feeling and possibly tasting the product if you have any doubts about freshness before eating it.

9. Mussel illness.

Shellfish and crustaceans unfortunately contain strong allergens. Even after a few hours, excessive sweating and nausea can be experienced. It is recommended to eat lightly and to drink enough water. Perhaps there is a possible allergic reaction. Always ask your doctor for advice if you have any doubts or concerns. If you are allergic to shellfish, it would be smart to remove mussels from your menu!


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