01 Feb The Mussel: Another of Es Torrent’s Star Ingredients
The red prawn, the lobster, the crayfish, the clam, the razorfish, the oyster…these exquisite varieties of seafood are known all over the world thanks to their gastronomic excellence and superb flavor. There is, however, another shellfish, just as delicious but less touted – perhaps due to its easy availability and reasonable price at the fish market – so much more economic than the rest. We are referring, of course, to the mussel.
At Es Torrent, we have the greatest admiration for this bivalve mollusk. Its texture, its taste and the sensation of brightness it delivers make it ideal in many dishes that simply wouldn’t be the same without it. Even as a main ingredient, mussels carry the aura of a special treat, whether enjoyed on their own or lightly seasoned. Some people serve them with curry, with coconut milk, with cream… We like them best steamed: pure essence. Although, they are also delicious grilled, or marinated in their own juices with tomato sauce and onions. We also add them to our paellas and fideuás, as well as to our seafood assortments and mixed fish grill.
Mytilidae, better known as mussels, are filter feeders that adhere to the substratum. They absorb phytoplankton – hence their intense marine flavor – and other suspended particles. They are easily recognized by their dark shells or valves, which are often cashew-shaped with a flexible hinge on their longer, straighter side. Their shells are closed by strong internal muscles which protect them from predators – starfish, snails, etc. – as well as from desiccation.
Mussels are a smart-choice food thanks to their high content in iron, folate, iodine and protein as well as omegas 3 and 6. These properties make them a healthful, nutritious option that provides large amounts of vitamins and energy but only a minimum of calories.
The time of year when mussels attain their optimum edibility ranges from the end of spring to winter, i.e. from June until approximately the month of January. At Es Torrent we are lucky enough to be able to enjoy them during six or seven months of our season. We always choose the best grammage available at market, and the maximum freshness. Mussels are one of those tasty morsels you never get tired of. Bon appétit!