I bet we can all agree that this recession is a bitch, but some good comes even from such pain. As a result of these leaner times, humble foods are getting the attention they deserve. Sure, we all still love Alaska king crab, truffles and foie gras, but we’re also rediscovering less prestigious foods and remembering how fantastic they taste, too.
Case in point: mussels and clams. Not only were these bivalves featured on a recent cover of Waitrose Food Illustrated, they’ve also been front and centre in other publications such as New York Magazine, Nation’s Restaurant News and the Times Online. And out there in real life, I had a very tasty dish of mussels with gnocchi at Butter in New York City last week.
This trend isn’t just for those who don’t want to splurge on the good stuff. No, even gourmets are jonesing for bivalves these days. A couple of weeks ago, I attended Smokerfest ’09, a party held in Pangaea Restaurant sous chef Shaun Edmonstone’s backyard and that dish of shells pictured above is proof that even spoiled chefs are glad to see these sea dwellers enjoying renewed popularity!
Do you enjoy mussels and clams often? If so, how do you like to prepare them? I find myself making classic white wine steamed mussels often but that’s about it. Do you have any other suggestions for me?