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Mussel Dreaming



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I don't get to enjoy mussels nearly as often enough as I'd like, but when it happens, it's great.


The experience starts with the mussels steaming in a little dry white wine. The cooking process opens the mussels' shells letting the salty sea water out to blend with the acidic white wine. The aroma is a very distinctive but highly pleasant smell of the sea.


When the mussel is ready to be eaten, you need to strip away the outer covering. Underneath is a perfectly formed, flattened lemon-shaped morsel with meaty, flesh-coloured cheeks edged with a delicate set of dark, crinkly lips. Just towards the top of this odd delight is a small tuft of hair often referred to by aficionado as "the beard". It's best but not essential that the beard be removed before tasting as the hairs can get caught in the teeth. Just below the beard is what we refer to as "the tongue". The tongue is sometimes hidden below the surface of the lips but more often it protrudes slightly giving the appearances of a minute penis. There are other bits and pieces in there but it's far too complex to describe.


It is said, although I don't believe it, if you hold empty mussel shells up to your ears as you tickle and flick the mussel's tongue with your own, you will hear the sound of a groaning woman's breathy voice saying over and over, oh my god, oh my god.


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