Mrs WDC and I love Moules Marinière. But not so our boys – and some of their partners – or Mrs WDC’s best friend – or my brother-in-law’s best friend (who is lethally allergic to them) – or endless other people we know… With so many people adverse to their attributes as well the population’s general susceptibility to seafood toxins, it’s a wonder that anybody attempts eat then at all – or that Belgo Central ever got off the ground. The answer is simple. The reason people eat them is because they taste so good.
I have never veered from the classic marinière method. I can’t imagine a better liquor than the juices of mussels steamed in white wine. But judging by one seaside restaurant we saw in Brittany listing over 50 ways to eat moules – or Belgo Centraal who boast 10 varieties, perhaps I am missing out. I don’t think so. A mussel is a delicate thing – its subtle sweet taste is best unadorned with the likes of kimchi, cream, chorizo, chilli or what have you…
Frites with moules is a good idea. But mainly because frites with anything is a good idea. Frites or no frites, crusty French bread is an ideal accompaniment. A light salad adds some healthy greenery to the affair – but really a big bowl of moules is quite good just on its own.
Now the big question – should we eat mussels in May? Does Belgo Centraal only open in months with an ‘r’? My mussels were supplied by farms in Shetland which are certified and strictly monitor the harvest – suppliers tend to put the mussels in purifying tanks and treat with ultra violet. I am assured they are fine to eat throughout the year.