Mussels are much easier dish to serve up than people realise. Try this easy dish, read the tips, and impress your friends
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Storing live mussels
Don’t leave them wrapped in a plastic bag (they can suffocate), or soaking in water, as chemicals and the lack of salinity (salt) can also kill them. Instead, keep them in a bowl, lightly covered with damp kitchen paper, in the bottom of the fridge – not too cold or they won’t last as long. They can then last up to five days – although you should expect to lose quite a few over this length of time, so it’s best to eat them on the day of purchase.
Buying the best
Mussels in the shell are sold either alive or pre-cooked. They’re available out of the shell as ‘mussel meat’, or brined or pickled in cans. For cooking, you really want live mussels in the shell. Farmed mussels are a particularly good buy as they are often more appealing to look at and require a lot less scrubbing under the tap to remove barnacles. Live mussels are often sold pre-weighed in a net bag, and should be kept cool on the way home.