My friends had mentioned that they had enjoyed some packaged mussels which surprised and fascinated me. I know my time on the east coast will not be forever, one day I will not be able to buy them off a counter of ice at my Superstore so when I saw that they were on sale I just had to try Canadian Cove Fresh Mussels. You can even buy them frozen but I wanted to test them out and have a fair comparison between these mussels and fresh non-packaged east coast mussels.
At first I thought I had made a big mistake. Yes, I had bought all of those mussels on sale for just over $3 which is a steal but when I first opened the package they were all gaping wide open. Which is usually a bad sign. Thankfully when I tapped them all but three closed. Four of them were broken but the rest were in fantastic condition. In fact they hardly required any cleaning at all. Only one did not open after cooking:
I decided to make Food Network’s Classic Fresh Mussels recipe. People suggested to make it on top of pasta which did not work for me. Still, the mussels were pretty good but I found they were not super tasty. They were very meaty but but a little boring. Something was missing. (See the basics on how to cook mussels here.)
So I went back to my grocery store and bought the regular fresh mussels. I spoke with the fishmonger and made sure they were definitely not packaged before coming here. I got the same amount of mussels for less than a dollar more.
I immediately noticed that they were not as clean which is not surprise. Only two were open and five were broken but all of them opened after cooking:
I must say there was a huge difference in flavour. In fact even while they were cooking I knew there was going to be a difference. As these mussels cooked my kitchen smelled like a fine dining seafood restaurant. That did not happen when I made the Canadian Cove mussels. These mussels also tasted like they came from a fine dining restaurant. These mussels were a little smaller than the Canadian Cove mussels but there were definitely more flavourful.
I know that most people do not live near the Atlantic Ocean and that one day I will be very far from the east coast myself so I wanted to test out a product that will be accessible to all shellfish lovers. Overall the product was high quality and the flavour pretty good. I give these mussels three and a half out of five wooden spoons. When I am far from the Atlantic, I will buy these again.
In the meantime, before I leave, I will continue to enjoy the unpackaged flavour-packed PEI mussels that I can get at my local supermarket. I will reap the benefits of living in Nova Scotia when it comes to seafood for as long as I can.
Nothing beats fresh, I have an inherent fear of anything in plastic.
That being said there is no reason there should be broken shells in a packaged product !
We have not bad mussels on the “Wet” Coast but for flavor, nothing beats P.E.I.fresh. I’ve had them many times and even being shipped clear across the country they are still superior.
There is plastic in all cultivated shell fish.
I’ve tried them, but I just don’t like mussels. Actually – I don’t really like any shellfish (with the exception of shrimp). Someone here in Oregon is trying to convice me I need to try razor clams. I will eat clam chowder, but any other clams gross me out… I may try the razor variety at some point… 🙂
Suzie Ridler says
I was surprised there were broken shells in the package too Wayne and I prefer to avoid plastic whenever possible. I know, I’ve had many mussels when I was out west and they just don’t compare to the east coast. I will be eating these on a regular basis when I go back west.
Tammy, you know I didn’t care much for clams until I moved here. Deep fried clams are now such a treat for me when I go out to pubs, I am shocked at how much I like them. Most people who do not like one kind of shellfish tend to not like it at all so don’t force yourself. It is definitely an acquired taste, not for everyone.
I’m glad I’m not alone, not a fan of shell fish either. Although we did try the Canadian Cove Mussels back in the spring, and for those in my family who do like shellfish, they were not impressed with these at all! I did try a few a they really didn’t taste like much. So you’re lucky to get the fresh stuff living on the coast. I bet I would warm up to them if they were fresh caught. How do feel about oysters, are you a slurper lol?
Suzie Ridler says
Ava, you are definitely not alone, my husband and sister Jamie HATE shellfish. Poor Jamie would have to leave the house while her family devoured shellfish all the time. It’s true, these ones did not have a lot of flavour but they were still better than BC mussels. I think it has to do with the saline content being higher in the Atlantic Ocean.
I am still a raw oyster virgin! Smoked oysters yes, raw? No. One day I will do it though!
S. LaFlamme says
We live in Ontario and not privy to the east coast fresh mussel. However we enjoy Canadian Cove cultured shellfish regularly. We have only found fault once with the product and I reported our concerns to the director of sales and he responded quickly, was professional, friendly and able to make our situation a positive one. Were happy that Cnd. Cove products are offered in our area.
Suzie the Foodie says
So happy you like the product and that the customer service was so excellent! I am from Ontario too and I know it is such a pleasure to enjoy these!
Brenda McGillivray says
My husband bought Canadian cove Live, rope grown Mussels, and immediately froze them when he got home….then we notice when taking them out 2 days later….that should not have been frozen….are they still eatable?
Just read your evaluation of Canadian Cove mussels..I could not disagree more vehemently. My wife purchased a packet for an occasion dinner..sorely disappointed.
They were all quite small, uniformly so, and other than the algae still present in their gut mostly void of taste.
Several were as you say..gaping..but almost all were not responsive to closing.
More than a dozen were not safe to eat, in essence,dead.
I found this product one to avoid. Harvested and packed less than 7 days ago they should still be deemed fresh but this is not the case.
Again..overly small, pale,virtually tasteless. I would submit perhaps to hold on to those wooden spoons.
I am a veteran marine aquaculture technician focusing on Atlantic salmon and in past years our company also raised and marketed ‘rope grown’ mussels. Night and day comparison.
I suggest to purchase only loose..per pound shellfish than can be selected individually. As I’ve done all my life
Highly overrated . I live on the Bay if Fundy and seafood is vibrant here