Ethical Eating

I'm Eating What?! Smoked Mussels in a Can

After trying the smoked eel last week, nothing was gonna stop me from prying open a can of smoked mussels next. But after seeing the orangey-green oily film on the peeled-back lid, my enthusiasm was put on pause. Sure, the sound of the top popping and the "pssshhhhttt" pulling sound made my heart leap with anticipation, but there was something unsettling about seeing those 16 cozily tucked bivalves swimming in a fluid that even Benjamin Moore's color experts couldn't describe. Additionally, each little mussel had a tiny pool of yellow oil

collecting just above its head. Or was that its butt? Hard to tell.


Each mussel was the size of a walnut, soft and squishy. I quickly learned to take each one out gently, saving each morsel from crumbling into bits. (Just so you are aware, "crumbling into bits" really means "falling apart and spewing organs everywhere" when one refers to a mussel. I know you appreciate my sparing you the dissection photo.)

Though the mussels were definitely smoky, they seemed to lack the sea salt the package promised was already inside. Still, with a little shake of salt and closed eyes, these critters definitely made for a snack-worthy indulgence.

Who should eat this? People who wish to incorporate more selenium in their diets but hate the thought of having to shuck all night.

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Riki Altman