After an introduction to Aotearoa Seafoods, its products and markets, we were able to get behind the scenes to see the processing of some of its Greenshell Mussels; this evening being prepared as Tomato and Chilli Marinated Mussels.
A tasting of mussels followed, matched with some KONO wine and a talk by Kiley Nepia of the Omaka Marae about Matariki. Kiley is pictured here (left) with Mike Aviss, both kitted out and ready to head into the mussel reception and processing areas.
Some things to think about:
- while some of the indigenous flavourings used in the KONO flavoured half-shell products haven't been well received in the USA (the NZ Greenshell Mussel industry's main market), as parts of a true New Zealand food culture it would be great to see more use being made of things like Kawakawa and Horopito. Good on Aotearoa Seafoods for giving it a go.
- something tells me there's something to the concept that male and female mussels possibly taste different (visually you can tell the female mussels by their orange shell colouration), as well as a possible terroir effect (or the ocean equivalent) - mussels from different regions tasting different. Anyone else keen for some blind tastings?