Market Name: Mussel
Scientific Name: Perna canaliculus
Common Name: New Zealand green mussel, greenshell, greenlipped mussel
Flavor: Mild/Moderate
Texture: Delicate/Medium

The green mussel is native to New Zealand, which has exported it to the United States since 1979. Greenshells are farmed mussels, cultivated on ropes, rafts or longlines. Growing standards, including water quality and production levels, are tightly regulated by the New Zealand government, so quality of the product is consistently high. Green mussels boast an attractive, elongated shell that is brownish-green on one end but changes to green at its broad lip, interrupted by dark-brown striations. The mussels grow to over 8 inches, though market size is usually 3 1/2 to 4 inches. Upon harvesting, live mussels are typically cooled to about 36°F and held at that temperature throughout the shipping process. Prior to shipping, their shells are cleaned and, in high-end operations, they are hand-graded and packed within hours of harvest. Look for the grower’s name on the mussels — a dependable sign of safety and high quality.

Product Profile:
Green mussels are sweet, tender, delicate, plump and juicy. Meat color varies from apricot (female) to cream (male). The color has no effect on flavor. Greenshells are most commonly available individually quick frozen in the whole or half shell to lock in flavor. Because they are grown on ropes suspended above the seabed, they rarely contain grit or sand. Unlike the blue mussel, the greenshell mussel’s shell is slightly open in its natural state, which New Zealanders refer to as “smiling.” The shell closes tightly when the mussel is subjected to stress, freshwater or rough handling.

You Should Know:
Frozen, whole or halfshell mussels may be stored for 24 months. Once thawed, they should be consumed in two to three days.

Cooking Tips:
Since frozen halfshells are already partially cooked, you can add a topping of your choice before “final-touch” broiling or baking. Cooking from frozen at high heat gives the best results. Live green mussels require only a little steam or heat to open 1/4 inch. After that, add a vinaigrette dressing and enjoy. Also excellent heated in Italian sauces and served with pasta. Meats are good whole or chopped in casseroles, chowders and salads, or minced in terrines, patés and quiches.

Cooking Methods: Bake,Broil,Saute',Smoke,Steam

Substitutions: Blue mussels, Hardshell clams, Softshell clams

Primary Product Forms:
Fresh: Shucked meats, Frozen, Whole, Halfshell, Meats, Blocks
Frozen: cooked or partially cooked) Whole Halfshell Meats
Value-Added: Marinated meats Smoked meats Stuffed Pickled

Global Supply: