Happy is he who is familiar with the taste of freshly caught and immediately prepared shell fish, who has dived for these delicate treasures behind their tightly squeezed mother-of-pearl doors, who has made dinner to the sound of the surf on deserted beaches. Yes, life by the sea is quite delicious, and such good fortune yearns to be shared. This is precisely why another bright event has come to be in Vladivostok — the Mussels Festival. For those who know the sea by taste, and those who are ready for gastronomic discoveries.
If you have previously been acquainted with mussels from other parts of the world or have dealt only with frozen mollusks, forget everything you've tried. Fresh Primorskiy mussels are unique in taste and structure. Restaurateurs assure us that these mussels contain more iodine and mineral salts due to the makeup of the local sea water, and their taste will win over the most demanding gourmets. Primorskiy clams are at their best in May; while the mussel is preparing to spawn, gaining weight and maximum quantities of useful elements, is the prime time to put the delicacy on the table. Other products just cannot compete with mussels in terms of composition. A portion of mussels during festival season guarantees a significant dose of B vitamins, trace elements, minerals, and amino acids — along with simply incredible gustatory pleasure.
No need to worry about the overall population of these mollusks. First, the mussel is one of the most common bivalves, and it multiplies very quickly. Secondly, all the mussels that end up in restaurants for festival days are not harvested from the wild, but are carefully grown on a farm. Yes, not many people know that a facility for breeding valuable mollusks is successfully operating in Vladivostok. Production is located in a picturesque bay of Russian Island where fresh mussels are selected and sent directly to chefs.
And so many magnificent ways they can be prepared! In delicate butter and fragrant sauces, mussels are great on their own and are perfect combined with rice, pasta, or vegetables; some masters even manage to create desserts with them. Festival organizers do not limit the chef’s imagination.
The Mussels Festival — like taiga, scallop and smelt — became part of the annual calendar of events in Pacific Russia Cuisine. Today restaurateurs of Primorye show great interest in local products and increasingly include dishes from them on their main menus. They participate in gastronomic festivals with confidence, seeing that prospects are colossal: year after year the number of tourists grows. And how is one to know the region without “tasting” it? Indeed, these are “delicious” events for the soul even for Primoryans themselves. Not just an excuse to go to restaurants, but to experience pride in the wonderful land we are lucky enough to live in; how rich in treasures it is (and mussels are undoubtedly among such riches) and how many possibilities lie ahead.
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