According to an English (and Spanish) saying, mussels (and other shellfish) should only be consumed on months that contain the letter “R” (September – April). This is true because during the months without the letter “R” (May – August) most mussel species are spawning and therefore their taste and texture can be affected. Furthermore it is important to allow the mussels to repopulate so that they can continue being a sustainable food source.
In Valencia, however, the mussels that are bred in the Port of Valencia are actually in peak season during the months without the letter “R”. These Valencian mussels are known as clòtxines in the local language and are smaller than the mussels we enjoy throughout the rest of the year which mainly come from the Atlantic waters of Galicia. Some people would argue that Valencian mussels are far superior to their Atlantic counterparts but such comparison, in my eyes, is tiresome and mainly fuelled by regional nationalistic superiority complexes. Galician mussels and Valencian mussels are equally delicious but hey, maybe that’s my own bias coming into play as a portion of the blood that courses through my veins is Galician.
On Saturday 20th May & Sunday 21st May you’ll have the opportunity to be the judge of this Galician Vs Valencian Mussel War. Many establishments in the stunning Mercado de Colón (Columbus Market) will offer a serving of Valencian mussels cooked in a myriad of different ways and at different prices. All Valencian mussels will be sourced from the Agrupación de Clochineros del Puerto de Valencia (Association of Valencian Mussel Farmers of the Port of Valencia).
The official times for this event will be 12.00pm – 1.30pm / 7.00pm – 9.00pm but some establishments will also offer extended serving times so you have more time to eat till you drop!
Ma Khin Café
- Burbujitas Picantes: Thai Green Curry Valencian Mussels served with Cava Reventós i Blanc, Blanc de Blancs.
- Price: 6€ (includes half serving of Valencian mussels + a glass of Cava) or 9.00€ (for a full serving of Valencian mussels + 2 glasses of Cava).
- Website: http://www.makhincafe.com/
- Valencian Mussels with Mi Cub Sauce: Valencian mussels cooked in a sauce inspired by the unique fusion of Valencian, Belgian and French recipes.
- Price: 4.50€ (includes a plate of Valencian mussels)
- Serving Times: 11.00am – 2.00pm / 6.00pm – 11.00pm
- Website: http://www.micub.es/
Las Cervezas del Mercado
- Valencian Mussels à la Timmermans Geuze: Belgian style Valencian mussels made with beer and served with a cone of local Agria variety potatoes.
- Price: 9.00€ (includes 1kg of Valencian mussels + potatoes).
- Serving Times: 12.00pm – 4.00pm / 7.00pm – 11.00pm
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/lascervezasdelmercado/
Casa de L’Orxata
- Valencian Mussels with Pearls of the Valencian Huerta. These “pearls” refer to tigernuts, a Valencian tuber used to make Horchata. The subtle touch of these pearls allows the delicateness of the mussels to shine through without being overwhelmed by other flavours.
- Price: 5.00€ (includes a tapa of Valencian mussels + a glass of Valencian Bio Cava).
- Serving Times: All day from 12.00pm until they are all gone.
- Website: http://www.casadelaorxata.com/
Suc de Lluna
- Arròs del Senyoret con clòtxines (Deshelled Valencian Mussel “Paella”)
- Price: 11.80€ for a plate of paella, glass of Cava or dessert or coffee.
- Serving Times: All day from 12.30pm until they are all gone.
- Website: http://sucdelluna.com/
- Valencian Style Mussels prepared with garlic, lemon, black pepper, white wine and olive oil.
- Price: 3.00€ per person.
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/bocadoscafe.mercadodecolon/
- Valencian Mussels with a Green Apple Coulis
- Price: 3.00€ (includes a plate of Valencian mussels)
- Serving Times: Saturday 12.00pm – 10.00pm
- Website: http://pantalan5.com/
La Mie Dorée
- Chilli & Saffron Valencian Mussels.
- Price: 3.50€ (includes Valencian mussels + glass of draught beer) or 5.00€ (for Valencian mussels + glass of wine).
- No website
Manglano y Josep Quintana
- Valencian Mussel Ragoût with Seaweed and Pine Nuts
- Price: 8.50€ for a full serving or 5.00€ for a sampling serving
- Website: http://manglanoyjosepquintana.com/
Don’t worry if you miss out on the event; cooking mussels at home is extremely easy! Have a go with my tried and tested recipe!
1kg fresh Valencian mussels (or any other type), cleaned and debearded
3 cloves garlic, sliced
3 dried cayenne chillies
1 1/2 tsp. hot pimentón
Small glass white wine
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
1 lemon, juiced
1 Fry garlic slices and dried cayenne chillies. Add the pimenton and quickly add the mussels. Close with a tight lid and shake around a bit.
2 After 1-2 minutes, add the wine and half of the fresh parsley and return the lid. Leave for a few more minutes.
3 When all mussels have opened, remove from the heat and add the rest of the parsley and most of the lemon juice. Cover and let it rest for a minute.
4 Transfer to a deep serving dish, sprinkle over some extra pimenton and add a bit more lemon juice.
For more yummy recipes, feel free to check out my Food Blog Frightful Kitchen