Greenshell™ Mussels

Maori name: kuku, kūtai
Scientific name: Perna canaliculus
Availability: Year round
Weight:
Length: 10–15cm, reaching 23cm

Greenshell™ Mussels

Maori name: kuku, kūtai
Scientific name: Perna canaliculus
Availability: Year round
Length: 10–15cm, reaching 23cm
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Location

One of the world's most successfully farmed mussels, they are found only in New Zealand. There are Greenshell™ Mussel farms in Marlborough Sounds, Coromandel, Golden Bay and Stewart Island where the shellfish are grown on lines suspended from ropes above the seabed.

Attributes

A dark green shell often blended with yellow, red, or brown streaks, especially in juveniles or those grown on ropes. Inside, the shell is iridescent. Mature males have creamy-white flesh, while female flesh is apricot-orange. Intertidal and exposed mussels are often blue-black. All specimens have a distinctive green lip.

Family

Greenshell™ Mussels are members of the Mytilidae family (mussels).

 

Related species:

 

Blue mussel (Mytilus edulis aoteanus) is a related species in the Mytilidae family that is abundant around (and south of) Cook Strait, but is not generally commercially harvested. The shell is a dark blue-black, often chalky white around the hinge area. They are not farmed and are smaller (five to seven centimetres) than Greenshell™ Mussels. They are a subspecies of the edible European blue mussel.

Sustainability

A green food source, New Zealand Greenshell™ Mussels are often referenced as one of the best sustainable seafood options. As filter feeders they take all their nutrients from the seawater - nothing else is added. Every farm must operate in accordance with a resource consent that sets strict conditions determined and enforced by the local council. The consent is in effect a licence that tightly controls, among other things, the size of the farm, activities permitted and required monitoring. The Quota Management System does not apply to Greenshell™ Mussels; it is instead governed by provisions within the Resource Management Act and the Aquaculture Act.

Fishing methods

Harvested all year-round (after growing for between 14 and 18 months) farmed mussels are fatter and more tender than wild mussels.

Nutrition

Greenshell™ Mussels are a good source

To quality for a 'good source' claim the food must contain at least 25% of the RDI.
The Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) is considered to be the average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97–98 per cent) healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group.

of Iodine

Iodine is necessary for the production of thyroid hormones, for normal neurological function and for normal energy metabolism, and it contributes to the growth and development in children

, Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is necessary for normal neurological function and it contributes to blood formation, energy metabolism and to the growth and development in children

, Selenium

Selenium is necessary for normal immune system function and for the production of thyroid hormones and it contributes to the maintenance of hair and nails

, Iron

Iron is necessary for the transport oxygen, for normal immune system function and for normal neurological development in the foetus, and it contributes to energy production and the reduction of tiredness and fatigue

and Phosphorus

Phosphorus is necessary for normal teeth, bone and cell membrane structure and for energy metabolism

; and a source

To quality for a 'source' claim the food must contain at least 10% of the RDI.
The Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) is considered to be the average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97–98 per cent) healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group.

of Magnesium

Magnesium is necessary for normal nerve and muscle function and for teeth and bone structure and it contributes to normal energy metabolism

, Zinc

Zinc is necessary for normal immune system function, contributes to normal skin structure and the healing of wounds, the maintenance of bones, hair and nails

, Vitamin C

Vitamin C is necessary for nomal connective tissue and blood vessel structure and normal neurological function

, Riboflavin (vitamin B2)

Riboflavin (vitamin B2) is contributes to the transport and metabolism of iron, to the release of energy from food and to the maintenance of normal vision

, Potassium

Potassium is necessary for water and electrolyte balance, it contributes to the functioning of the nervous system and normal muscle function; and to the normal growth and development of children

, Niacin (vitamin B3)

Niacin (vitamin B3) is necessary for the release of energy from food and for the normal structure and function of skin and mucous membranes, and contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue

and Calcium

Calcium is necessary for normal teeth and bone structure and normal nerve and muscle function, and it contributes to energy metabolism and to the growth and development in children

.

Seafood is a highly nutritious food and is a great source of protein

Protein is necessary for tissue building and repair, normal growth and development of bone in children and adolescents aged 4 years and over, and contributes to growth and maintenance of muscle mass

. Many species are low in saturated fat and a number of them are a good source of Omega 3

Omega 3 is a group of fatty acids that contribute to heart health

.

Tips

Greenshell™ Mussels are plump and richly flavoured. This versatile shellfish can be served hot or cold and cooked in a myriad of ways: bake, grill, sauté, barbeque, fry, curry, marinate, soup/chowder, smoke or steam.

Buying & Storage Tips

Live mussels should have tightly closed shells or close slowly when tapped. Rinse the mussels under running water, then tug out their beards and consume within 48 hours of purchase. Live mussels can be stored in an open container in the fridge covered with a damp cloth. Smoked or marinated greenshell mussels will have a use-by date on their packaging.