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How to clean mussels

How to clean mussels

How to clean mussels quicklyand accurately. Why it is dangerous to eat raw mussels and cooking tips.

Farmed mussels and rock mussels

THEmusselsormussels, are very popular seafood and for this reason bred throughout the Mediterranean. In some areas of Italy, on the other hand, wild mussel fishing is practiced, also known as rock mussels. In fact, mussels can develop on any seabed, for this reason Mediterranean mussels are considered invasive species that are very harmful to native marine fauna abroad (especially in Japan and California).

The mussels are dangerous? Once cleaned, can they be eaten raw?

Many claim that eat raw musselsit hurts or is dangerous. In fact it all depends on the breeding or fishing site of the mussels. If collected in marine areas close to urban discharges or where marine currents carry elements from wastewater, the musselsthey can easily become the receptacle of bacteria and / or viruses that are very dangerous for humans. Mussels are filtering animals, filtering the water and collecting a large amount of particles and microorganisms (including pollutants and pathogens) in the gills.

For the reasons I have just described to you, know that it is not safe to eat raw mussels, even if with the addition of lemon. Why are raw mussels bad for you? Because if mussels have developed in polluted areas, they can become carriers of diseases such as typhus, cholera, paratyphus, viral hepatitis and norovirus.

Are cooked mussels dangerous? No. There are many risks, even if some algal toxins (DSP and PSP) can cause gastrointestinal and neurological syndromes and are not deactivated by cooking. For this reason I recommend that you buy mussels from a safe source, from a trusted breeder or fisherman.

At the time of cooking, the mussels must necessarily open so as to allow the edible tissue to reach temperatures suitable for deactivating any pathogens.

TheCan red or dark orange mussels be eaten?Here's one thing you may not know. The mussels have sexual dimorphism, the male mussel has a creamy yellow color while the female mussel is red or orange.

How to clean mussels

The two valves are held together by a hinge with three or four teeth. If you wantclean the musselsyou will have to delete the fibrous filament, that is, the aggregate that comes out of the two valves: in Naples it is called the "streppone of the mussel " while in other places in Italy it is called "fine linen ". So the first thing you need to do forclean the musselsis to remove the byssus or streppone (fibrous filament).

Wash the mussels under running water and rub them on each other to remove all the barnacles (commonly called dog teeth of the mussels) and the encrustations of the shell. If you want a perfect result, you can use a knife to remove any limescale deposits. There are also those who clean the rock mussels using a wire mesh or a hard bristle brush!

The mussels must be cleaned one by one: remove the filament that comes out from the flat side of the mussel and to eliminate it completely, pull it not towards the outside but towards the clipboard side or curved side of the mussel until it is completely torn off.

How to clean mussels quickly

Having said that you have to remove the byssus from each mussel, there is also a shortcut that will allow you to clean the outer shell of the mussels more quickly.

The strategy consists in closing the mussels to be cleaned in a plastic bag (like a garbage bag) and adding a handful of coarse salt and carefully rubbing the bag for about ten minutes. In this way it will be possible to thoroughly clean the shell of the mussels in 10 minutes, even if it is 5 - 6 kg of mussels! This strategy is very effective, you will then just have to rinse the mussels under running water and remove the byssus.

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