“ Brand: Young's / Type: Fish „
Following a visit to Asda's stinking-fish counter yesterday, and the purchase of a £3.43 kilogramme bag of so-called 'live mussels' most of which turned out on closer inspection to be not just Dead On Arrival but to have actually been rotting in their shells for quite some time, last night's dinner (of hearty mussel soup in a white wine broth) was ruined.
Or so it seemed - but there is a big Tesco at the end of our street that is open all hours. They don't sell much in the way of fresh fish but they do vaccum-packed packets of pre-cooked mussels still in the shell. I've examined these in the shops a few times but have always been put off buying them by the grim-looking vaccum-packaged contents - especially the greyish liquid you see in the spaces between the mussels through the transparent plastic. Also I objected to the 'garlic and herb butter' seasoning that's pre-packaged onto the shellfish; I don't see why people who buy these things shouldn't be free to flavour them however they like.
But it was a choice between vaccum packed mussels or effectively a Van Smirren pot of vinegared cockles for our shellfish dinner, so one 500g-ish purchase of mussels for about £2.50 later (plus a fresh bottle of wine) and we were cooking with gas, so to speak.
Actually not. The instructions on the packet said our vaccum-packed mussels, as they were already cooked, should go in the microwave for just two minutes to warm through. This didn't seem long enough and it wasn't (possibly because we swilled out the vaccum-pack bag with an extra glass of wine to try and extract some mussle-y juices) but as we planned to add the contents to soup later on anyway, this wasn't an issue.
The mussels were a very pleasant surprise. If slightly on the tepid side, they were certainly cooked properly and in terms of taste and texture were a lot like fresh mussels you'd cooked for yourself. Individually the shells were all a bit on the small side - and the portion itself wasn't quite sufficient for two but as Tesco are selling two packets for £4 it would be simple enough to double the quantity in future. The garlic butter seasoning we couldn't taste at all (possibly on account of the wine we'd added) but I wasn't bothered about that.
What you don't properly get with these pre-packed mussels, of course, is part of what I'd consider to be the whole point of this type of food: the shellfishy juices that come out of the shells on cooking. There is some of this flavourful liqour in the vaccum pack, admittedly, but not very much. On the plus side however, these things are obviously very carefully packed at their peak of freshness by the manufacturer, and so you do not get the dead / dying mussel problem that I've described above, which is so common among supermarket-bought shellfish. While not as much 'fun' as live mussels, they're definitely a fail-safe option, and at least if you buy them you know you'll get something worthwhile to eat.
Why I chose this Product:
WEhen im on holiday, usually Spain i love nothing more than sitting in a resturant near a beach, sunset in the background, Glass of chilled Rose and a steaming pot of Mussels! bliss, yummy bliss. Anyway, Mussels are notoriously difficult to cook and theyre also difficult to get hold of, but youngs product solves this dilemna for me.
Who will like this product:
This product makes a brilliant starter, or i like it as a main course with some crusty bread or chips for dipping.
Where to find this product:
Most supermarkets stock this product. I have also picked them up at my local Spar shop.
£2.46 for 450g of mussels in their shells, which is a really reasonable price bearing in mind what you would pay for a small bowl in a resturant.
This product comes in a carboard box (kind of like a pizza box), the mussels in their shells and the sauce are founs inside in a plastic vacuumed pack.
Select whole mussels in a creamy garlic sauce made with fresh cream, parsley and shallots.
Contains Shellfish (molluscs), gluten, wheat and milk.
Each half pack contains, 99 Kcals, 0.3g of Sugar, 3.1g Fat, 1.6g of saturated fats, 2.0g of salt.
Mussels have an ocean fresh aroma and a silky smooth texture on the outside that gives way to a delicate, juicy inside that is mildly salty. the sauce is creamy and compliments the mussles excellently.
How to use:
Keep refrigerated once purchased. Do not freeze. As with any seafood it is important to stick to the best before date to get the best out of the product. There are various ways to cook this product, firstly, you can empty contents into a pan and cook at a high heat for 3 minutes, constantly stirring. Or you can empty contents into a microwavable dish and cook for 4 minutes on full power. I sometimes put this product into my steamer whilst still in its plastic packaging, this takes about 8 minutes. Once cooked enjoy by removing each mussel from shell as you eat, i ike to loosen the mussel and use the shell to scoop the sauce and use like a spoon. Do not eat any mussels that do not open once cooked!!!!
Youngs mussels are really nice and taste quite fresh. The sauce is beautiful and is just the right amount of garlic-y-ness.
I love this product, but understand that mussels aren't to everyones taste but at this price theyre worth a try if your curious. for those who do love them, on the other hand, make sure to look out for these on your next shopping trip!
Hope this review was helpful to you xx