Shetland Mussel Season is upon us

Andrew Jackson - Thursday, October 01, 2015

September - ‘Shetland Mussel Season is upon us’



We generally class the mussel season as any month with and ‘R’ in it. We sell mussels all year round but there is a “reason for a season” as you will have a better eating experience with fish and seafood when product is generally in season, at is best!

I personally will only eat mussels in the typical season as I see the difference in them in September and they only get fatter and better tasting from here on. A big bowl of mussels with French bread on my dining room table with my wife, children and friends is a rewarding dining experience for me.

Mussels spawn in the summer months when water temperatures rise which reduces the meat content of the product, also in the summer months the waters in and around Shetland are susceptible to algal blooms and toxins accumulate in the mussel which have to be monitored/tested weekly for suitable human consumption. This is why sometimes in the summer we have limited or no stock.

We would advise mussels going on the menu now from September through to April and you will experience some of Shetland’s lovely plump, high meat content, thin shelled mussels from our supplier “Seaspray” on the Shetland Isle’s.

Seaspray mussels are top quality where the naturally pristine environment is ideal for the mussels to develop and grow as Mother Nature intended. The Seaspray product comes from “Boutique” mussel farm sites where farm managers can ensure that the mussels are handled with care to provide the quality product required by the end user. The farm managers are committed to ensuring that the Shetland environment is protected for the enjoyment of future generations of their own families as well as the unique location for the production of top quality shellfish.

 

My Handling Tips:

In my opinion mussels are fragile soles and must be respected and handled correctly as follows.

Mussels must be chilled and kept cold, do not expose to dehydration – what I mean by this is do not let chiller fans blow cold air over them as they will simply dry out and die.

Keep the mussels on a tray or a container that has drain holes and place a wet towel or newspaper over the top to keep them in a moist cold damp environment.

Fresh water will kill a mussel - do not submerge in fresh water (a rinse when ready to cook will suffice).

De-bearding mussels to premature will kill a mussel – I look at a mussels beard as like a baby’s umbilical cord – which is attached to important working internal stuff? Pull the bears off at the last minute before cooking to ensure you do not injure your mussel – they are living creatures!

Mussels grown on ropes in Shetland have thinner shells than mussels dredged from seabed’s so handle with care as not to smash the mussels

Mussels that are open and refuse to close if tapped are dead and should be discarded before cooking and mussels that do not open during cooking should be discarded as they may have been dead before cooking commenced.

Ask our team for Yellow net Seaspray Mussels – 5 kg nets, fully traceable for peace of mind.

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We have been working closely with Marrfish for many years now. The quality and freshness of their fish is always first rate and customer care exemplary.

Pascal Canevet / Maison Bleue, Bury St Edmunds

Fresh & a consistent quality are what we look for from our suppliers; delivery 6 days a week, competitive pricing and a team that go the extra mile for us when needed, we always recommend Marrfish & hope this partnership continues

Paul Hood / Social Eating House, Soho

Finding a good fish supplier is something I seemed to struggle with due to consistency but since Marrfish was recommended to me by a friend I've got to say I've never had a problem. The guys are great to talk to, they're confident in there product and the quality and freshness is second to none.  I would put my reputation on the line to recommend them to anyone Cheers boys

Phil Thompson / Phil Thompson - THOMPSON@Darcys

The fish is bloody lovely.

Rik Withers / Head Chef / Six Bells Horringer

Marrfish offer us a first class service, supplying fantastically fresh sustainable fish from their own boats. We have constant contact with their skippers which gives us first-hand knowledge of the catch and allows us to plan our menus daily using exceptional quality seafood and great prices

Warren Geraghty / Warren Geraghty / Executive Head Chef, Galvin Restaurants

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