When it comes to foods that inspire love, we’ve heard of all the usual suspects – chocolate, wine, and even strawberries. But there’s another aphrodisiac out there – one that’s easy to prepare, fun to eat, and as near as your local supermarket: mussels.
Fresh mussels are the latest trend when it comes to amorous food. “Mussels are the perfect food for adding a little romance to your life,” says Linda Duncan, executive director of the Mussel Industry Council. “We’ve introduced some fun tools and contests to celebrate the aphrodisiac effects of fresh mussels. Not only are they delicious and easy to cook, they’re also fun to share and eat together.”
The Mussel Industry Council of North America is introducing a “Date Night e-Vite” tool on its website www.discovermussels.com, so aspiring romantics can invite that special someone out, and provide the sweet (or saucy) details about the kind of date they would like it to be.
Spice up your love life
There’s a reason for the aphrodisiac effect mussels deliver. American and Italian researchers claim that mussels contain compounds that prompt the body to release hormones connected with physical attraction. Mussels are rich in zinc, a mineral known to keep feelings of love alive. They’re easy to prepare – just steam them for five to seven minutes – and they’re fun to eat, especially when someone else feeds them to you.
“Mussels make for a wonderful meal and can be prepared in a variety of ways to suit all tastes. They’re perfect for a dinner for two because they’re elegant and easy to prepare,” says Duncan.
A healthy seafood choice
Fresh blue cultured mussels are not only tasty, they’re a healthy seafood choice. They provide a full day’s serving of omega-3s, and contain high levels of zinc, iodine, vitamins B and C and iron. In fact, they have three times the absorbable iron as a comparable serving of beef.
Mussels are also very low in fat (2.2 g fat per 100 g of mussel meat), sodium and carbohydrates. An average serving of mussels is only about 90 calories.
Sassy Curried Mussels
1 1/4 pounds fresh blue cultured mussels, in shell
2 ounces white wine
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 onion (or shallot), julienned
1 stalk of celery, julienned
1/2 carrot, julienned
1 teaspoon curry paste or 1/2 teaspoon yellow curry powder
3 ounces whipping cream
• Place mussels in a sauté pan, add wine, garlic, onion and celery.
• Cover the pan and heat until mussels just start to open.
• Drain half the juices, then add cream curry paste or curry powder. Stir paste around to dissolve.
• Cover to finish steaming and allow sauce to reduce to thicken slightly.
• Serve mussels in a large oval bowl with your favorite bread or pasta and enjoy with a glass of (the remaining) wine.
Mussel Industry Council President Terry Ennis recommends adding a sassy touch to your evening with a curried mussel dish from chef Alain Bossé. Serve with fresh bread and your favorite white wine. More recipes can be found at www.discovermussels.com.