Do you know Lizard Head in Cornwall? It’s the southernmost point of the county, beautiful scenery, lovely coastal path good for walks for hours.
I remember it very clearly. It was where I suddenly developed an allergy to oysters. I'll skip the gruesome details but enough to say, I've not touched an oyster since. What got me must have been a/ a bad oyster from a celebrated chef’s establishment (and no, they didn’t offer me a lifetime discount) or b/ a sudden shellfish allergy. I’m aware that these things happen out of the blue, but the funny (and good) thing is, I don’t seem to be allergic to any other type of mollusc. Mussels included, thank the Lord.
Mussels are so CHEAP. The bag I bought from the market was £3.50. And that happily feeds two. Look for clean ones – you don’t want to spend hours scrubbing the barnacles off if, like me, you’re slightly put off by the little creatures who live in barnacles. The mussels I got came from the Billingsgate market and I bet you can walk around there and take your pick – of the cleanest, nicest, liveliest looking mussels there are.
The recipe has a tiny twist – the usual spiel is to cook mussels with wine, take them out and then add cream – what a waste of time. I added the cream beforehand, turned up the heat full whack and threw the shells in – they were happy as Larry cooking straight in the cream sauce.