Exotic Eats: New Zealand

Posted by on Mar 10, 2013 in Countries, Exotic Eats, International Flavors, New Zealand | 1 comment

**Posted by Kathryn Pisco

I absolutely love mussels and I order them whenever I can in the states.  When I saw “New Zealand Green Shell Mussels” on the menu in Auckland, I decided to indulge.  Once I did, I realized that I think I actually love the flavorful sauces and crispy bread that come with Americanized mussels as opposed to the mussels themselves.

Kat's Green Mussels from Verona Cafe

Not that I didn’t like the authentic Green Shell (Green Lipped) Mussels; they were just different and a lot for me to handle:  HUGE amount of fish, very salty, fishy flavor, and chewy texture….very little sauce.  I started seeing the mussels on almost every menu and I decided to learn more about them.  Turns out, I found a lot of information online that I found interesting (but I understand if you are not as intrigued about the food and do not care to read on. )

Green-lipped Mussel at Totaranui

Green Lipped mussels are endemic to New Zealand and one of the largest mussel species in the world.  They are also very economically important to New Zealand as the acquaculure in the country is now valued at $250 million NZD per year.  Cultivation began in the 1970s and mussel farming is is a fast growing industry.  And, like everything in New Zealand, this industry operates under the strictest of quality standards lending the Green Lipped Mussels to be name one of the top 2 “eco-friendly seafoods” in the world according to the International Conservation Organization.  After learning all about how important Green Lipped Mussels are to New Zealand, I am glad I tried them.  I think one time was definitely enough.

One Comment

  1. Those things are HUGE!

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