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.