Rope Cultured Mussels
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We love these blue mussels—grown on ropes in the cold, pristine waters of Casco Bay, Maine—for their sweetness, tenderness and taste of the sea. Plump and satisfying, the mussels make one of the easiest dinners imaginable. Just steam for a few minutes with aromatics like herbs, garlic and fennel, or the classic mix of white wine, shallots, parsley and butter. They even take well to Indian spices like garam masala. Pair with vegetables and crusty bread, and dinner is served.
- 2 lb. total; approx. 18–20 mussels per pound.
- Shipped fresh.
- Caught in USA.
- Use & Care
- The mussels ship fresh with ice packs. Upon receipt, remove the mussels from the packaging, place them in a bowl, cover them completely with a damp kitchen towel and refrigerate. Dampen the towel if it dries out during storage. Live mussels need air—do not cover them with water or seal them in a plastic bag. The mussels will keep, properly refrigerated, up to 3 days.
- Scrub grit off the shells of fresh mussels with a stiff-bristled brush, then de-beard each mussel, as needed. Remove the beard, the little tuft of fibers the mussel uses to connect to rocks or pilings, by cutting and scraping it with a knife or scissors. You may also pull it sharply down toward the hinged point of the shells with your fingers, but this tends to pull away a bit of the meat. It’s important not to de-beard the mussels more than 1 hour before cooking, as doing so kills them.
- While cleaning, discard any mussels that are very light (as they are likely dead), or any that are heavy with sand. Remember that live mussels will close tightly, if a little slowly, when touched. If in doubt, try twisting the shells sideways in opposite directions, as if unscrewing a bottle cap. The shells of dead mussels will break apart easily. The mussels should open up again after cooking. Check cooked mussels and discard any that failed to open.
- To shuck mussels, or remove the shells, steam them with 1 inch of liquid for 2 to 3 minutes, just until they loosen and open slightly. Using a small knife—preferably one designed for shucking clams—pry open the shells and cut the meat away. Reserve the steaming liquid to use in a sauce.
Adapted fromWilliams-Sonoma Kitchen Companion (Time-Life Books, 2000).
- Blue mussels.
To ensure freshness, perishable items are shipped overnight from the supplier and are not eligible for rush shipping. Please allow up to one week for delivery.
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