At the Seafood Expo North America (SENA), I attended a Master Class on Canada’s Organic Blue Mussels. A Master Class is a more in-depth seminar on a specific type of seafood, and this year at SENA, there was only one such Master Class. This mussel class was presided over by Cyr Coutrier, the President of the Newfoundland Aquacuture Industry Association while Chef Steve Watson prepared two different mussel dishes,
Central Dairies. He is a native of England who came to Canada in 1977 to study North American cooking; He is also well known as the co-host of One Chef One Critic, a weekly television which highlights cooking, interviews with local celebrity guests and culinary features. In addition, he is the co-author of a book, Cooking With One Chef One Critic, which is based on the television show.
As I've said before, mussels are very nutritious. They are a good source of vitamins, such as Vitamin A, protein and zinc. In fact, they contain nearly 100% of the recommended daily allowance of zinc. In addition, they are a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids, and an average size plate of mussels possesses as much Omega-3 fatty acids as 6 ounces of salmon. Mussels are also much less expensive than salmon.
Production of these mussels has generally been growing, with a large jump from 2000 to 2007, a more than tripling from 1,051 tonnes to 3,390 tonnes. From 2013 to 2014, there was little growth due to harsh weather conditions, and there doesn't seem there will be much growth, if any, in 2015. However, the demand for these mussels continues to grow so the industry is trying to find ways to increase production, while dealing with the weather, Most of the fresh mussel supply is sold within North America while frozen mussels most often are exported to Asia.
Using Iceberg Select Mussels, Chef prepared two mussel recipes, including Thai Chili:and Garlic Cream Sauce. We got to sample both dishes, and my favorite of the two was the Thai Chile which possessed a spicy hear that pleased my palate. The Garlic Cream, made with Bud Light beer, heavy cream and a stick of butter, was delicious as well. Both recipes were simple to make, and you could easily make them at home. I just wish I had a crusty baguette so I could have sopped up the broth, but instead I simply drank it down.
Eat more mussels. You have no excuse not to enjoy them.