Salty delicacies from Zeeland!
Mussels can be found everywhere along the Dutch coast and yet we always speak of 'Zeeland mussels'. Why is that? Dutch mussels intended for consumption are all flushed continually in clean water from the Oosterschelde (in Zeeland) ensuring that any sand and other impurities are removed. So they are cleaned and ready to be eaten. And we natives of Zeeland are, of course, very proud of the fact. Within 24 hours of dredging up mussels from our trading plots in the Oosterschelde, we deliver them cleaned, sorted, cooled and packed for sale to the customer.
From the capture of mussel seed up to and including the logistics: we are active in, and manage, all the links of the chain. We are therefore able to guarantee that consumers can enjoy high quality, safe, sustainable mussels without worries. And we have been doing so for more than 100 years! Our Zeeland bottom-culture mussels are our best-known mussels. Our Zeeland suspended-culture mussels are less well known but they are unique to Zeeland. And, moreover, because all our mussels deserve the best packaging, we have developed our own innovative mussel packaging to ensure that they stay fresh longer: the Seafresh Pack.
The cultivation of our mussels begins with the capture and dredging up of mussel seed. We subsequently plant out the seed on our cultivation plots. There, the seed takes around two and a half years to grow into adult mussels. This takes place on plots in the Waddenzee and Oosterschelde, which boast some of the healthiest water in Europe. All our cultivated mussels are of the very best quality. We began with the capture of mussel seed in 2001 and, because we were pioneers in this field, the government rewarded us with more space on the Waddenzee. We are one of the few businesses to have a mussel farm which is BIO as well as MSC certified. See also mussel cultivation.
The mussel seasons runs from around the second half of July to the first half of April of the following year. So they are no longer only available in the months which have an 'r' in them, as the old saying goes. Zeeland suspended-culture mussels are often even available before July. In fact, you can eat mussels almost any time: gratinated for your lunch, for your dinner at a gourmet restaurant or out of the traditional black pan at the beach. With or without sauce, simply tuck in.
Mussels are not just tasty; they are very good for you too. They contain high quality nutrients, such as proteins, minerals (iodine, phosphorus, selenium, copper and iron) and the vitamins A, B, C and D. They hardly contain any fat either: only four per cent! This fat is, moreover, rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids which reduce cholesterol.