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Old 10-31-2010, 01:17 PM   #1
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Unhappy Mussels - Better safe than sorry?

Quick Q: have never cooked mussels before so need to know if I should part with ANY mussel that has slightly opened before it's steamed. I've read that if the shells are cracked or damaged you should not cook them. My better half put some mussels in a zip-locked bag & several opened a bit. I think they weren't able to "breathe" and maybe gave up the ghost. Is it better to be safe than sorry?? Thanks in advance!


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Old 10-31-2010, 01:24 PM   #2
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If they are open I will tap them lightly. If they close on their own they are ok. If they refuse to close then I pitch em.

"First you start with a pound of bologna..."
-My Grandmother on how to make ham salad.
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Old 10-31-2010, 01:25 PM   #3
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Tap any opened mussels lightly on a hard surface and they should close. If not, toss them. When they are cooked, they should all be open. Toss any that are still closed.
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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Old 10-31-2010, 03:42 PM   #4
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Yup! I've been to a clinic once with my body in hives, presumably from one or more of the bad mussels I'd gorged on the previous night. Just look at one raw and it's obvious that bacteria will attack it asap once its dead, dying, or vulnerable.

To my credit, I still love mussels. I have a signature dish steamed in a thin black bean wine sauce. But, I want them live, lest one bad apple spoil my day.
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Old 10-31-2010, 05:01 PM   #5
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Thanks SO much for reply's. I will tap & see! It's a huge help!
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Old 11-01-2010, 01:28 AM   #6
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be sure that they've not just come off ice when you do the tap test. they're very sluggish when cold, so they may not seem to close as quickly as you'd expect, so you'd end up tossing perfectly good ones.

the better test is if they don't open up when cooked. definitely chuck any that refuse to open, or only open slightly.

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