Bivalves are popular amongst seafood lovers. The most common bivalves include oysters, clams, and mussels. Variations of all three grow along the east coast of the United States. The Blue mussel finds its way on the restaurant menus in addition to seafood markets nationwide. Despite the distribution, mussels are grown in the coastal regions of specific states in the Atlantic waters. Here is what you need to know about where blue mussels are grown. 

What Is The Range Of Blue Mussels

Mussels are specific to locations along the east coast because of water temperatures and salinity levels.

Water Temperature

The blue mussel thrives in water temperatures ranging between forty and sixty-eight degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures above or below this range are not conducive to this particular type of mussel growth. 

Salinity Level

Similar to the importance of water temperature are salinity levels. The salinity must remain within a specific range to promote the growth of blue mussels. Mussels prefer a salinity measurement of fifteen to thirty-five parts per trillion. Lower or higher levels inhibit the growth of the bivalve. 

The mussel grows between Maine and South Carolina when it comes to range. The population of blue mussels becomes thinner in the southern portions of the range due to increased water temperatures. The mussel is harvested on the northern end between Maine and New York. 

What Is The Habitat Of A Mussel

Mussels are found in inland waters in addition to the open ocean. The bivalve is equipped with byssal thread, which affixes the mussel to pilings, shells, rocks, hard bottoms, ship wrecks, and more. 

Do Mussels Contain Bacteria

The mussel is subject to contain bacteria and shellfish toxins. When summer water temperatures soar, bacteria levels increase. The increased level of bacteria presents a risk to consumers. Water testing is standard to aid in reducing food born illness. Farms are required by law to test mussels at regular intervals. Lastly, cook mussels thoroughly before consuming. 

In addition to bacteria, mussels are prone to the accumulation of toxins. The purpose of a bivalve is to filter the water. As a result, of their ability to clean inland waters, mussels contain heavy metals, including cadmium, lead, and mercury. Minimize the level of consumption to reduce the intake of heavy metals. 

What Do Mussels Taste Like

The taste and texture of a blue mussel is described as a mixture of a clam and oyster. The meat portion of the bivalve ranges between orange and white. The flavor is sweet, tender, and rich when it comes to taste. 

Mussels are cooked rapidly and can be prepared by steaming. The bivalves can be simmered in water or among sauces, including white garlic wine, red sauces, lemon butter, and more. When it comes to time, the shells open in a matter of moments when the closed shells are placed in or above hot liquids with a lid. Remember to discard all mussels which fail to open during the cooking process. 

Why Are Mussels So Inexpensive

One of the least expensive bivalves is the mussel. Mussels come at the lowest cost when compared to oysters and clams.

The bivalve is inexpensive for a multitude of reasons. Mussels cannot move from location to location, unlike clams. Commercial mussel fisherman do not need to locate mussel when compared to clams.  

Secondly, mussels do not require fertilizer or water. The bivalve feeds aggressively on algae. Algae is natural to the seas; therefore, the mussel does not need food. Mussels play a critical role in removing algae from the water. Without mussels and other bivalves, algae levels would no longer remain in check. 

When it comes to cost, expect to pay between six and ten dollars per pound. The weight includes shells; therefore, the yield is minimal. 

How Many Mussels Is One Serving

Despite the inability to harvest mussels fresh from the waters of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, mussels are available for purchase in grocery stores and seafood markets. 

When it comes to serving sizes, the average person consumes one pound of mussels. A pound of mussel equals nineteen to twenty-four mussels.

The next time you are serving family or friends, ensure to purchase enough mussels to avoid falling short. Fortunately, mussels are low in cost and will not break the bank. 

Now You Know The Blue Mussels Is Not Common In The South East

Unfortunately, you won’t be harvesting fresh mussels from the water or picking them up from the docks. Blue mussels will only be available at seafood markets, grocery stores, and restaurants. Despite the lack of mussels in your local waters, consider eating other bivalves. The southeast is home to eastern oysters. Purchase local easten oysters which make excellent table fare.