PEI Mussels vs. well, Mussels

The friendliest place on the web for anyone that enjoys cooking.
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

Yankee00

Cook
Joined
Dec 29, 2023
Messages
56
Location
Virginia USA
I have been served and enjoyed mussels in the past. It has been long enough ago that I have no idea where they came from. I would like to try my hand at steaming my own and in doing Google research, have learned that there are mussels, and then there are Prince Edward Island mussels. It is difficult and expensive to get PEI mussels in Virginia. Do any of you have any experience with mussels, and/or have a preference? Thank you in advance.
 
in big broad brush strokes . . .

shell fish from colder water tend to be plumper, tastier.
and yes - they're more expensive that local sources - the distances involved and the rapid transportation required adds cost.

all that aside from the not uncommon OMG! they're infected with xyz bacterial disease - which is regrettably much more common in warmer waters.
 
The only mussels I'll ever serve are from the Pacific Northwest in British Columbia and are called Salt Spring Island Mussels and harvested off the coat of the Island. They're a hybrid of the Mediterranean mussel and the Atlantic blue mussel which is a common variety of PEI but the downside is they're about twice as expensive. I get them from my fish monger from Toronto but suspect these will not be available in the USA, except maybe the Pacific Northwest like Oregon, maybe check online there for overnight delivery. Don't get me wrong PEI is world famous for mussels and they're fine and suspect the Atlantic variety is what your going to have available anyway.
 
The only mussels I'll ever serve are from the Pacific Northwest in British Columbia and are called Salt Spring Island Mussels and harvested off the coat of the Island. They're a hybrid of the Mediterranean mussel and the Atlantic blue mussel which is a common variety of PEI. I get them from my fish monger from Toronto but suspect these will not be available in the USA, except maybe the Pacific Northwest like Oregon, maybe check online there for overnight delivery. Don't get me wrong PEI is world famous for mussels and they're fine and suspect the Atlantic variety is what your going to have available anyway.
Thank you for your reply and information. My local fish market here states that they get their mussels from Maine (my home state), and they are "meatier" than PEI mussels. You sound like a chef and so I will just come out and ask, is there REALLY a taste difference between mussel varieties for the average palate?
 
Thank you for your reply and information. My local fish market here states that they get their mussels from Maine (my home state), and they are "meatier" than PEI mussels. You sound like a chef and so I will just come out and ask, is there REALLY a taste difference between mussel varieties for the average palate?
Atlantic mussels species will be available all up and down the eastern seaboard and suspect there might be a specific species that is indigenous to Maine that are meatier but I've had some pretty big and meaty muscles from PEI as well, but yeah, give them a try. There really is a difference between the different species of mussels much like there are in oysters. Yes, I'm a chef.
 
Atlantic mussels species will be available all up and down the eastern seaboard and suspect there might be a specific species that is indigenous to Maine that are meatier but I've had some pretty big and meaty muscles from PEI as well, but yeah, give them a try. There really is a difference between the different species of mussels much like there are in oysters. Yes, I'm a chef.
Thank you for your help, Chef!
 
I have only bought and steamed mussels once. They were PEI mussels. Those are the most local to me. They are farmed responsibly, which matters to me. They are delicious and because they are farmed, they don't get sand inside their shells. So, purging to get rid of sand and other grit isn't necessary.
 
Craig had fresh cooked green mussels when he was in New Zealand for work and thought they were better than the black PEI or northern Atlantic. Alas, though, you can only get them frozen for the most part in the U.S.
 
Wow. I typically shop at Publix here in Richmond and occasionally Kroger. I was in Publix today for typical shopping errands and stopped to look at their mussels. They were SO tiny. I would need like 5 lbs just to satisfy myself. I hope my local seafood place has a better selection.
 
Wow. I typically shop at Publix here in Richmond and occasionally Kroger. I was in Publix today for typical shopping errands and stopped to look at their mussels. They were SO tiny. I would need like 5 lbs just to satisfy myself. I hope my local seafood place has a better selection.
The tiny ones are not worth the effort, at all, even the texture sucks.
 
My local HEB usually has live mussels in stock. I haven't bought any, yet. I have no idea where they are from. They would have to be from the US for me to buy them.

CD
 
Don't know the store HEB (assume it's a grocer?) But they should be able to tell you where they come from. If they can't - then I would not buy.
Other than Fish Mongers who sell them loose, grocers here have them in net bags, with identifying numbers and dates. Dates include the date it was harvested, date it was shipped and date to consume by.
 
In Canada shellfish like mussels and oysters need to be traceable and restaurants are required by law to keep the tags with each batch received and separate just for that purpose in case of a health problem.

There have been times where I've received multiple bags of muscles or boxes of oysters with different tags and these can't be mixed and need to be traced back to the day and time they were served and the tags kept well after the product has been sold and consumed for tracing purposes. It's a bit of logistic nightmare, but safety and traceability in the event of an investigation related to shellfish-related illnesses is required. Not sure how that works in the USA.
 
Don't know the store HEB (assume it's a grocer?) But they should be able to tell you where they come from. If they can't - then I would not buy.
Other than Fish Mongers who sell them loose, grocers here have them in net bags, with identifying numbers and dates. Dates include the date it was harvested, date it was shipped and date to consume by.
In Canada shellfish like mussels and oysters need to be traceable and restaurants are required by law to keep the tags with each batch received and separate just for that purpose in case of a health problem.

There have been times where I've received multiple bags of muscles or boxes of oysters with different tags and these can't be mixed and need to be traced back to the day and time they were served and the tags kept well after the product has been sold and consumed for tracing purposes. It's a bit of logistic nightmare, but safety and traceability in the event of an investigation related to shellfish-related illnesses is required. Not sure how that works in the USA.

Works the same way in the U.S. Even if seafood is sold loose/by the piece, documentation is required.
 
Believe it or not - but I've always kept those tags for several days after I've eaten them. Just for those very reasons, picton. Living alone I just felt should I become ill, they'd have something to trace.
 
Believe it or not - but I've always kept those tags for several days after I've eaten them. Just for those very reasons, picton. Living alone I just felt should I become ill, they'd have something to trace.
Very intuitive. Makes sense though and because of shellfish's inherent susceptibility to allergies and other problems like hives or even anaphylaxis there's other concerns that can immediately effect our immune system, so it's kind of important where you get your seafood from a trusted and reliable source.
 
I buy products from Canada. Honestly, I have always thought of Canada as our 51st state. (Don't blast me. I mean it as a compliment.) :flowers:

On a side note, we had a Canadian minor league hockey player in our friend group. Our group decided to go to Tijuana for a day. Coming back in, border agents refused to let him back in without paperwork that said he was working in the USA. We were all shocked. He blinked when they told him that he was an alien and said slowly in an incredulous voice, "I'm an ALIEN?" We were negotiating how to go back to LA to get the paperwork needed while he sat with others who were detained. The senior agent sighed and let him go with a heavy warning to always have his documentation with him. Honestly, to this day, I have zero idea what he did not have, but he got a local driver's license the following business day.
 

Latest posts

Back
Top Bottom