Of Mussels and Menus

Mussel Muscles

After a discussion of muscles I cooked up two pounds of mussels to make a mussel, white sauce and fettuccine dinner for Saturday. They’re now chilling in the fridge.

I’ve long wondered just what is the yield of mussel meat to the packaged in the shell mussels. Two pounds of mussels in the shell yielded 2.6 ounces of mussel meat. That’s about a 8% yield. At $4.99 in the shell that comes out to a staggering $61/lb!

Realize that mussels are sort of the low end of the price spectrum in the seafood case at the supermarket. That makes pastured pork look positively cheap at a mere $4 (hocks) to $6 (ground) to $8 (loin chops) to $15/lb (tenderloin). And there’s research that suggests that pastured pork is high in vitamin D and Omega 3 Fatty Acids due to the animals living outdoors in the sunshine and eating pasture. What a deal!

Now my curiosity is sated but my tongue is not. I’ll still be buying and eating mussels. They’re a nice treat.

Outdoors: 84°F/66°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 79°F/75°F

Daily Spark: It takes 44 muscles to frown, but only 4 muscles to give them the finger. -Garrison Keillor

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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5 Responses to Of Mussels and Menus

  1. Nance says:

    (Next to last sentence, Walter. But.) I’ve never eaten a mussel but I like every other kind of fish and shell fish that I’ve tried. Wonder if your children like mussels too.

  2. David Lloyd Sutton says:

    Growing up just a handful of miles from the coast in Santa Barbara, we would schedule beach visits a few times a year to coincide with very low tides. The shallow-living mussels are a different species from the deeper-living ones? They develop differently depending on where they put down attachments? In any case the tidewater ones are smaller and more likely to be unhealthy due to intermittent submergence. My father, who grew up literally on that coast, insisted we take our mussels from as deep as possible, in any case. Our take, typically half a bushel or so, would go into fresh water overnight so they would open and could be rinsed of sand. Then they were steamed and cut free, after which we would dip them in melted butter and vinegar or lemon juice. Your white sauce treatment sounds really interesting. When I returned from my overseas time during the Vietnam War and went to college in Santa Barbara, I was forced to use SCUBA gear and take from old oil platform pilings and wharf supports, because the Laotian Hmong, who had been settled in the University of California Santa Barbara’s bedroom village of Isla Vista, had literally stripped all mussels from local beaches. Those fine people (I’ve since worked with them in industry in the same area, hard-working folks!) had been hunters and foragers for survival in Laos . . . the habits carried over for a long time. (All stray dogs disappeared during that period too, there and in SF where those families were also settled). I was told by other divers of a variety of mussel found in a severe down current off Santa Cruz Island, about seventy feet down, that were well over a foot long. Never had the nerve to brave that current as a solo diver, so never saw those.

    Do you still need coins for your manager’s desk? I have some, not from my own travels, but curios, some that have been around since I was a kid. I’ve equivalents for my grandkids so if you need to fill some space, you would be welcome. A couple of string “cash,” a British Pence, two coins from Tonga, a hexagonal ten peso from Mexico, a dexihedral from Fiji and a round equivalent from N.Z., each with the same portrait of Elizabeth II, a ten drachma from Greece and a 1945 winged victory dime.

    Enjoying cool weather! Down to 88F today.

  3. Rox says:

    When we lived in Nice France a friend of ours worked on a boat so he knew all the fishermen. Every Sunday he would bring a couple kilos of fresh muscles and he and our two year old daughter would sit on the patio and eat them raw. He would crack them open, squeeze on some fresh lemon juice for her and she would slurp them down. I never at fresh muscles but my daughter did every Sunday for a year. I can’t remember any more if he got them all year long or if it was just a long season. He would ride up our big hill on his moped, he never had a car.

    It’s true there are all kinds of muscles, I prefer the small ones, they are usually more tender. We have fresh muscles regularly now that we live near Marseille.

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