21 June 2007
BRUSSELS – The first Zeeuwse mussels of the new season should be in Flemish shops and restaurants within two weeks. The new mussels were sampled today in the Dutch town of Yerseke.
“The mussels are of much better quality than last year,” says Hans Van Geesbergen, secretary of the organisation of Dutch mussel producers.
“The smallest mussels now have a flesh weight of 21 percent, there are some that are already 30 percent,” says Van Geesbergen, who pointed out that at about this time last year much of the mussels had not even reached the minimum flesh weight of 16 percent. Last year was a disastrous year for the Dutch mussel industry.
Unlike last year, the mussels are also free from crabs now. “2006 was a very bad year, but luckily nature also provides better years,” said Van Geesbergen. He expects that the mussel farmers will be able to supply the first mussels next week, which will then be available in shops the following week.
The improved quality of the Zeeuwse mussels this year and the larger quantity of seed mussels – which will only be clear in July – will bring an economic recovery for the mussel farmers. “Last year there were farmers who weren’t able to supply any mussels at all. So there are some who are eagerly looking forward to this season,” Van Geesbergen said.
[Copyright Expatica News 2007]
Subject: Belgian news