Mussels are a key component of many traditional dishes around the world. They are low in calories, high in protein and packed with vitamins and minerals. They are also easy to prepare and make a great addition to many meal choices.
The mussel is a bivalve mollusk in the family Mytilidae. It is found in the cold waters of the North Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and the Pacific Ocean. They are a popular seafood, especially in France and Belgium, where moules-frîtes is one of the most famous dishes. It consists of steamed mussels served with French fries and Dijon mayonnaise. It is also a very popular dish in neighboring Germany, where it is known as mosselen mit friet (mussels with fries).
Mussels can be prepared in a variety of ways. In France, they are often steamed in white wine and then tossed with butter, shallots and parsley for a classic preparation called moules marinieres. They are also used in pastas and soups, and can be pan-fried or grilled.
In Belgium, mussels are usually served with beer and Belgian fries in restaurants. They are also steamed with herbs and other flavorful vegetables in a white wine sauce, or cooked into a tasty stew called moules et pimento (mussels in paprika). In the Netherlands, mussels are often eaten as a snack with ketchup or mustard. They are fried in batter or breadcrumbs as a take-out food, and in Spain they are consumed in a soup or in tigres, which are small croquettes made with mussel meat, shrimps and other fish in a thick bechamel sauce, then covered with a crispy breadcrumb coating.