Mussels are tasty, inexpensive, nutritious, sustainable (that will keep all the folk at SASSI happy) and are in plentiful supply.
So why is it so hard to get a decent bowl of these fresh beauties in Cape Town?
I mean, we are 3/4’s surrounded by fresh unpolluted ocean, and, in fact, you can actually forage on beaches for your own for free (licences and limits apply).
I can only count on the fingers on one hand, or toes on one foot, the number of restaurants who offer fresh mussels on their menu.
I cannot think of a single fish retailer (except for Southern Cross in Tokai and Palmyra Junction) who sell fresh mussels. All the supermarkets sell are canned and frozen varieties.
What’s the issue? Do Capetonians dislike them? I’d find this hard to believe as they go mad for sushi, and oysters, and crayfish. Actually, Capetonians are great seafood eaters.
I think mussels are a great seafood and make a delicious dish, served up in minutes. There’s nothing better than a big bowl of mussels, freshly wokked in a white wine sauce with finely chopped spring onions, chives and a touch of fresh garlic and ginger. Knock these back with a glass of chilled wine and crunchy freshly baked French baguette and you are in gastronomic heaven.
I’m really just posing the question to see if any of our chef readers could reply and let me know what they think.
The best reply from a chef gets an enormous bottle of Chateau Libertas ( I mean huge), in a wooden box, delivered to their restaurant, with their name on it.
Tomorrow I am off to sample some fresh mussels at the Good Food and Wine show.
Blue Bay Premium Shellfish from Saldanha Bay have a stand there, and for just R100 you’ll get a pot of mussels, chips, freshly prepared mayonnaise and a beer. If you bring back the pot and wooden pot holder, you’ll get R40 back and pay just R60 for a taste of the ocean, prepared traditionally by steaming with celery, onion, white wine and butter.
What’s not to like?