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Mussels belong to the family of clams. These long and wedge shaped sea creatures are high in protein, vitamin B12, omega 3 and iron which are necessary for our well-being.

Like any other seafood, mussels can be easily contaminated. That is why it is always advised to eat them only if they are caught alive. Dead mussels may collect poisonous algae and may cause paralytic shellfish poisoning. And since they are harvested along the shorelines, we need to get them rid of the ocean dirt and remove particles such as algae and sands.

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Below, are simple steps in cleaning mussels the right way.

1.       Handpick individually and throw away any defective mussels. Healthy mussels are tightly closed, to check if it is good, tap gently any open mussels lightly against the counter. Then, they will be closed right away, but for instance they don’t get close, throw them away and don’t include them to prepare. Mussels with open shells should be thrown away and should not be included. As soon as you get home, unwrap them from the package right away, to allow them to breath. You don’t want them to die before you cook them, or else the mussels could be poisonous.

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2.       Prepare a clean bowl of water and soak the mussels in. Immerse the mussels for at least 20 minutes for them to breath.  As they puff underwater, they still have the ability to push out particles inside them like sands and other ocean minerals. Although this process allows the mussels to clean itself naturally, there is still a need for us to manually clean them again to make sure they are really safe for consumption.

3.       Remove the beards. After soaking them, you may now proceed to remove the beards. They are brown thread-like sticking in between the opposite shells. Use your hands to grasp the beard, pull it out from top to the bottom, and make sure nothing is left in between shells.

4.       Remove the mussels from the water. Use a strainer or a slotted spoon to drain the used water and separate unwanted particles. Prepare another set of clean bowl of water, to transfer the mussels. (The first bowl you have used should not be reused.) Using a slotted spoon or a strainer will prevent the sand to re-enter the mussels. Make sure it is totally separated.

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5.       Brush filth off the mussels. Pick them one by one, and brush any particles off the mussel’s one at a time. Then, gently scrub the shell with a brush, to get rid of slime or particles that may stick in to the shell. Use a running water to rinse them.

6.       Dry them off! And finally, drain any existing water from the bowl and pat the mussels gently and use a clean towel to dry them off. Now you can prepare and cook the mussels whatever you desired to.

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Whether or not you are preparing commercial or self-harvested mussels, it is still best and advisable to know how to clean and prepare them correctly. But if you are not comfortable cleaning them, might as well visit CavaCava Restaurant for their mouth-watering wood fired Mussels.

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