Courtesy Peter Goffe-Wood from Kitchen Cowboys in Salt River and a Master chef SA judge
The mussel’s ‘beard’ is known as the byssus. It is used by the mussel to attach itself to surfaces with the aid of adhesive cement, which the mussel secretes. Before preparing a mussel for cooking and eating, the byssus should either by cut off or pulled out with a sharp tug, then discarded. If cooked, these taste sandy and unpalatable.
Mussels are a good source of Vitamin C, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Phosphorus and Zinc, and a very good source of Protein, Vitamin B12, Iron, Manganese and Selenium. Mussels are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, selenium and iodine.