Did you know that mussels are one of the oldest species found on the earth today? In fact, evidence of their existence dates back to the very beginning of time.
Cultured mussels have been around for nearly 900 years, since the 12th century. A ship-wrecked sailor off the coast of France placed poles with netting in the water to catch fish. When he checked the nets, he noticed that mussels had attached themselves to the poles. This has become known today as the Bouchot method.
In North America, wild mussels have been harvested since the early 1900s. The global industry now produces more than 4 billion pounds (2 million tonnes) a year and employs 1.5 million people. (courtesty of http://www.discovermussels.com)
I developed a taste for shelled seafood growing up in Boston. Mussels are one of my favorite seafood.
3lbs mussels, in shell, scrubbed and rinsed (Costco’s are great)
1 1/2 C. White wine
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
2 Bay leaves
2 Shallots, chopped
3 T. orange juice
2 T. butter
1/4 C. parsley, chopped
Put white wine, onion, shallots, Bay leaves in a large stockpot. Cover. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Add mussels, stir. cover pot. Steam for 4-6 minutes or until shells just open. Drain the liquid from the stockpot into a small saucepan. Add orange juice, butter, salt and orange zest. Boil for about 3 minutes until sauce is thick and foamy. Remove Bay leaves. Transfer mussels to serving platter and pour sauce over mussels. Sprinkle with parsley. Serves 4.