Paul has fresh farmed mussels for sale everyday.
I adore mussels, always have. But I’m very picky about the way I like them cooked.
My preference is to eat wild mussels. In South Africa, as I understand it, an individual is allowed to pick 25 wild mussels. Outside of that you have to buy farmed.
The centre for mussel farming in South Africa is Saldanha Bay on the West coast.
The majority of mussels harvested in South Africa are exported.
Saldanha excellent for mussel production because of its fertile waters from the Benguela current with its high concentration of plankton.
The mussel seeds are grown on ropes which are suspended vertically in the water. It takes between
Four and six months for the mussels to grow.
The main variety of mussels cultivated here is the European Blue Mussel.
This variety originated from the Mediterranean and only started to proliferate in Saldanha Bay in the last two decades.
Ok, I think that’s enough detail, here goes with the recipe.
2 onions finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 cup of white wine
2 sprigs of thyme
1 cup of double cream
1 knob of butter
Splash of olive oil
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Chives chopped for serving, Paul fishmonger likes to add coriander, and I like that idea.
Heat oil and butter together
Fry onions until soft.
Add thyme, wine and cream.
Bring to boil and let bubble for 3 minutes.
Prepare mussels for cooking by rinsing in water. Pulling any beards from mussels
Discard any mussels which are open.
Add mussels and stir. Within 3 minutes they should be cooked. But cook until they open, discard any that are still closed.
Sprinkle with chives and serve.
Or indeed any herb you fancy.
Serve with crushy French style baguette available from Cassis.
Drink a Sauvignon Blanc from Cape Point Vineyards. My favourite.