Canadian Mussels More Popular Than Ever
Let’s send out a big hooray for Canadian fresh blue cultured mussels. For the first time ever exports to the United States grew by 10 per cent last year. Canadian mussels top the international export list as the most exported variety of mussels – overtaking New Zealand mussels.
“Surpassing New Zealand in mussels exported to the U.S. market is an important milestone for us,” said Terry Ennis, President of the Mussel Industry Council of North America. “For many years New Zealand has led in sales, importing frozen cooked mussels on the half shell. What we’re seeing now is the market respond to our product that is eco-friendly and available live and fresh all year round.”
Canadian mussel exports to the U.S. were worth $27.4 million in 2010, up from nearly $26.7 million in 2009. The figures from the U.S. indicate Canada led mussel imports in 2010 with 47 per cent of the market compared with 42 per cent for New Zealand. This is the first time the value of Canadian mussels has exceeded those imported from New Zealand.
“We believe the significant growth of fresh Canadian mussel exports to the U.S. is based on three main factors: the quality and appeal of fresh live mussels, the recession, and increased marketing efforts,” said Linda Duncan, executive director of the Mussel Industry Council. Fresh Canadian mussels are exported to the U.S. during the entire year. The quality of a fresh product that is available daily has led to growth in consumer demand explains Duncan.
“Our mussels really are a better choice than the frozen product,” said Duncan. “Fresh mussels stand on their own with a wonderful taste that consumers are enjoying at restaurants across the country and at home where they are easy to prepare.” Fresh mussels provided a price point matched for the recession. When compared to other seafood, both consumers and the restaurant industry responded to the value proposition of fresh blue mussels. “Finally, we can attribute rising exports to the U.S. to our marketing efforts that promote health and sustainability messages,” said Duncan. “In the past year the Mussel Industry Council has exhibited at major restaurant and consumer shows and held multiple online campaigns, contests and recipe offers to encourage the consumption of these delicious mussels.”
Mussel Stuffed Mushroom Caps
Courtesy of the Mussel Industry Council
1 lb fresh cultured blue mussels, cooked and shucked
12 large mushroom caps
1 tbsp butter or margarine
2 tbsp lemon juice
1⁄8 tsp salt
1 tbsp bacon bits or crushed bacon
1. Rinse fresh blue mussels in tap water.
2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 C).
3. Dip mussels in mixture of melted butter, lemon juice and salt.
4. Place one mussel in each mushroom cap. Place in a lightly greased baking pan; pour remaining butter and lemon juice mixture over the mussels and mushroom caps.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Serve hot.