Mussel is a bivalve mollusk (Mytilus. Galloprovincialis) with a characteristic ax shape, thick at the anterior end (called umbo) and broad and very sharp at the posterior end. It has a hinged system that opens and closes the valves. The interior is called the mantle. This variety differs from the others due to its bluish-black shell, with concentric lines (growth marks), and especially because of the orange-cream mantle that is very different from the white color found in the other mussels coming from Of other production areas. Along the edge has a curved purple stripe. The mussel lives in the wild forming communities in shallow sites subject to rocks to which it adheres by means of the biso. This fixing system is used by the growers to fix it to the ropes that hang from the rafts. The timing of the harvest depends on the end use of the product. Mussels for canning and processing (65% of the total) are usually harvested in summer, while fresh ones (35%) are mostly harvested during autumn and winter. Today Spain is the second largest producer of mussels, after China. The mussel cultivation, which was first introduced in the Galician estuaries in the 1940s, is of particular economic importance. The coasts of Galicia with its rich Atlantic waters are the ideal environment for the production of high-quality mussels quality that are exported to many markets in which its succulent size and succulent orange pulp is greatly appreciated. The Galician mussel is of recognized prestige for its maximum quality, with palatability, texture, flavor and color that differentiates it from any other origin. As food, Galician mussels are high in protein with a similar nutritional value to hake, lobster and more edible marine animals. Mussels produced by the traditional method of pest control comply with the strictest quality controls, and are rich in protein, vitamins and minerals – one hundred grams (3 ½ oz) of mussels are sufficient to meet the daily requirement of protein an adult. It is not an expensive seafood and yet is very versatile in its preparations. Steamed-uncooked-ready to drink with a few drops of lemon. They can also be battered and fried, mixed with a tomato sauce and a little spicy, or the vinaigrette constitute an excellent tapa. They can also be prepared in corn breadcrumbs, mixed with xounas (small sardines) or with cooked pasta, rice, or potatoes. The mussel cake is delicious, just like the pate. Also making a béchamel like those of the croquetas and covering the mussels placed on half shell, adding peregil, coating them and frying them. For all this, they have a place of honor in gastronomy and local festivals, and are covered by the PDO Mexillón de Galicia, visual and economic expression, which with its rafts spread by five rivers (Vigo, Pontevedra, Arousa, Muros-Noia and Ares- Betanzos) attest to the aquaculture power of this region worldwide.
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Montse Gonzalez