BASKET. TEXT. CUINA magazine. PHOTO
Ebre Delta mussels
The edible bivalve in a league of its own
This shellfish is one of the most popular in the Ebre Delta and benefits from the water treatment and biological richness of its waters. Back when they were first commercialised in 1940, the mussels were prised off rocks, but now they are bred and harvested in artificial breeding grounds off the Delta coast.
Mussels originating from the Ebre Delta reach their optimal size around June and stand out for their exquisite flesh and durable consistency. The breeding area is centered in the Fangar bay, at l’Ampolla and the natural port of Alfacs in Sant Carles de la Rapita.
Mussels are an excellent food. They are a very good source of high quality protein and are rich in iron and as a food source they are easily digested. Along with their low fat content, they are especially valuable for women who are prone to anaemia and as a healthy and tasty dish can help out in any weight loss programme. They are also a good source of vitamins and minerals, such as iodine.
As with oysters, mussels are also capable of producing pearls. Layer after layer of calcium carbonate or aragonite build up over time to create a gem that is prized world-wide and surrounded by myth, magic and legend.
However, our Delta mussel is just as famous and magical as a key foodstuff that graces Catalan tables, especially when accompanied by chilled white wine. Cooked or uncooked, or even preserved, the variety of methods, recipes and ways of serving mussels will tempt the palate of any genuine food lover.