The Cornish Mussel Shack – King Harry, Cornwall

When we first started My Saffron Bun we also set ourselves up on twitter and facebook to see what this social networking thing was all about. Why not follow us on Twitter?

Twitter, in particular is a great way to keep our eye on wassup in Cornwall and we love following local businesses and food suppliers. More than once we have news of what’s going on before our friends and family who actually live there!

Small fishing boat going home and Norman Bridge a passenger ferry laid up in the River Fal

One of our followers is @MusselShack who sell freshly harvested mussels, ready bagged for you to take home and use in your favourite recipes. All their shellfish come from the River Fal, in the area surrounding the King Harry Ferry and Carrick Roads. They are harvested using a variety of methods including snorkeling and hand dredging.

While we were down at Christmas we planned on taking some lovely fresh fish back to Becky’s parents who, like us, are real foodies. We had planned on going somewhere on our last day to get some on the way home but fate intervened. The afternoon before we left Matt from @MusselShack tweeted that he had some beauties that were available to anyone for New Years Eve. We quickly tweeted him and arranged to meet him at the slipway of the King Harry Ferry on our way back. This was just perfect. Roger, Becky’s Dad, has a mean reputation for THE best Moules Marinere.

So there we were on a pretty miserable late afternoon in December meeting a man about some mussels. We drove down to the slipway and parked up, we could see Matt working away in his little mussel shack.

It was great to meet Matt and with our normal Cornish twist of fate found out he lives in the same village as Mark’s Mum and Dad, Budock Water. He is rightly proud of his mussels (make sure we spell that right!) and their size and quality.

Matt's lazy assistant (left) and Matt in his Mussel Shack

The majority of their mussels are snorkeled from the underside of pontoons up and down the river. Constant immersion allows the mussels to feed 24 hours a day. This allows them to reach a very large size, as well as making the meat yield from them exceptionally good. The hand diving means that their harvesting methods are really environmentally friendly too!

Their Mussels are available to purchase at either Truro Farmers’ Market, Lemon Quay Piazza every Saturday 8:00am – 2:00pm. You can either buy them to cook yourself or takeaway portions of cooked mussel with a choice of sauces. Alternatively you can buy some from Matt on The King Harry every Friday 3:00pm – 6:00pm. Yes, that’s actually on the ferry! Matt rides back and forth all afternoon selling his mussels – it’s a hard life isn’t it?

Left - Mr Mussel (Matt) Right - beautiful mussels soon to be heading up the A30

You should check out their website which has lots more info on them. We loved their descriptions on how to look after your mussels. Who knew that mussels don’t like drafts? We have an image of them all sitting their shivering!

We took them back up to Wiltshire and Roger got to work, check out the recipe and some cool photos coming up soon.

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