zondag 5 mei 2013


Belgo, "Cherchez la moule"

So, which country produces the best mussel? Size and taste will vary in different waters and most producers will wave their own flag. The French like the smaller tasty Bouchot mussel, which is cultivated on long poles or stakes driven into shallow water pools or estuaries. Irish mussels, although quite small, have a superb smoky/salty taste. Check out the Bantry Bay mussel festival in mid-May on the south-west coast and while you're down there say hello to John Murphy of Fastnet Mussels. The Dutch and the Belgians will pay outrageous prices for their large "Goulden" [Golden] mussels that are mainly grown on the bottom of the world's most famous mussel growing pools, the Escaut, off the shores of Yerseke in Holland. Koe [?] Prins, the mussel producer "king", claims his outfit, Prins and Dingemans [Dingemanse], can produce up to 50.000 kilos per day. Perhaps... but Jan of Anderssens in Agessund Denmark can dredge up to 100.000 kilos of the super-large wild Danish mussels that grow in the world's largest natural mussel farm, the Limfjord. Having said that, most of Denmark's delicious mussels are used for processing: in tins, jars, and frozen. And guess who owns most of Anderssens? You got it: The Durch mussel "king" himself. The Scots have supplied Belgo [een Belgische restaurant-keten in Londen] year around because of the quality and freshness of their produce, so hats off for Jock kackenzie and Co.
     So, which country produces the most mussels? Sorry Jock and Bonny Scotland, we're afraid you're a little out of your mussel-pot depth on this one. Spain produces some 200.000 tons per year. Holland follows with 100.000, Italy 80.000, France 70.000, Germany 50.000, Ireland 20.000, Greece 15.000 and the UK 7.000 tonnes per year.