Bouchot Mussels

When you buy champagne, Cornish Clotted cream, Parmigiano-Reggiano or Kalamate Olives, you want to be sure it’s really champagne, clotted cream, Parmigiano or a Kalamata olive. There are various ways of protecting food (and wine) for instance by law, by creating and protecting a brand, or by systems such as the Appellation d’Origine Protégée (AOP) also known as Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). AOP/PDO is based on unique aspects of a region. For instance, the AOP for Comté cheese reflects the use of milk from specific cows from a region in the French Jura with a unique flora. This determines the cheese, its flavour and quality.

Another system focuses on the way food is produced. If this is done in a unique traditional way, the product can be labelled with Spécialité Traditionnelle Garantie (STG) or Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG).

Bouchot Mussels carry both labels and they come with a special logo. Obviously, you wonder why.
The mussels grow in a unique way, benefitting from the large tide near Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy. They grow on ropes strung from wooden poles (so called bouchots) in the sea. During a significant part of the day the mussels sit above sea level and therefore they grow slowly. The influence of the tide makes the bouchot mussels typical for the region and the use of poles makes the way the mussels grow unique.

Perhaps you also wonder if these aspects have an impact on the mussel and its taste. The answer is yes. They are small, clean, very tasty, flavourful, juicy and meaty plus they are free of sand and grit.

Preparing bouchot mussels is very simple, because adding flavours will only interfere with the already delicious taste.

Perhaps a bit more expensive than other mussels, but given they are so very tasty and rich, we think it’s perfectly fine to buy less than usual.

Wine Pairing

We enjoyed our Bouchot Mussels with a glass of Muscadet Sèvre et Maine, Domaine Raphaël Luneau. The wine originates from the Loire Valley and is made with 100% Melon de Bourgogne. The wine is stored on its ‘lees’ for several months before bottling. Lees are leftover yeast particles. They add flavour and structure to the wine.
In general, you’re looking for a white wine with minerality, fruit, structure and expression. It must be aromatic with a long taste.

What You Need (Starter)

  • 500 grams of Bouchot Mussels
  • White wine
  • One garlic Glove
  • Parsley
  • Crusted Bread

What You Do

Finely chop the garlic and the parsley. Add white wine to a pan and add the garlic. Bouchot mussels don’t release much liquid when you cook them, so use a little more wine than you would do with regular mussels. Leave for 10 minutes. Clean the mussels. Cook the mussels as quickly as you can, lid on the pan, until they are open. Add the parsley and combine. Serve immediately on a hot (soup) plate.

Moules Marinière

A Delicious Classic

Moules Marinière, Mosselen met Look, Mussels in Beer, Mussels with Piri Piri and Mussels with Anise, served with crusted bread, with French Fries or just a glass of wine, as a starter or for lunch: mussels are great to combine. And did we mention delicious?
Preparing Moules Marinière is not difficult at all. Make sure you buy tasty mussels (we prefer small ones) and lots of tarragon and parsley. Don’t simply add the herbs; create a simple sauce. You want to coat the mussels with the powerful flavour of tarragon and parsley. A drop of Henri Bardouin’s award winning Pastis is recommended.

Wine Pairing

White wine of course: Pinot Blanc, Sylvaner, perhaps Pinot Gris or Riesling. In general a fresh, dry white wine with medium acidity and fruit aromas like citrus. Mussels are very flexible, both in preparation and accompagnement.

What You Need

  • 1 kilo of Mussels
  • 1 Shallot
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • Olive Oil
  • White Wine
  • Bouquet Garni (Parsley, Bay Leaf, Thyme)
  • Tarragon
  • Parsley
  • Pastis
  • Black Pepper

What You Do

Start by finely chopping the shallot and the garlic. Take a large, heavy pan and heat the oil. Add the shallot and the garlic, cook for 5 minutes until soft and glazed. Add a glass of white wine and the bouquet garni. Cook on low heat for 10 minutes. In parallel clean the mussels. Increase the heat to (nearly) maximum, add the mussels, close the lid and cook until all mussels are open; perhaps 4 minutes. Shake the pan during the cooking process or give the mussels a quick stir with a wooden spoon. Remove the mussels with a slotted spoon, transfer to a large plate and put in a luke warm oven. Discard the bouquet garni, add chopped parsley and tarragon, a splash of pastis, some black pepper and leave to simmer for 1 or 2 minutes. Transfer mussels to two warm (soup) plates and pour the sauce over the mussels.

Moules Mariniere ©cadwu
Moules Mariniere ©cadwu