The West's best seafood

Our guide to healthy, sustainable choices from the West's amazing bounty

13 great fish to choose now

Descriptions, sources, and eco-factors for the West's tastiest sustainable seafoods

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Farmed mussels
Dwight Eschliman

Farmed mussels

Recipes:  5 ways with farmed Mediterranean mussels

Taste: Mediterraneans and Penn Coves are sweeter, bigger, and plumper than the more common blues.

Source: Pacific Coast, California to Alaska.

Eco factor: Like oysters and clams, mussels leave the water cleaner than they found it. Because they're relatively disease-free, they don't require treatment with antibiotics, and they're grown on ropes hanging from rafts, so they have no impact on the ocean floor.

How to choose and prepare: Select mussels that are tightly closed or that close when tapped. They should smell clean and salty, like the sea. If possible, get ones with the steel wool-like "beards" (fibers on the side of the shell) removed. Discard any with cracked shells. Give them a quick scrub under running water, pull off any beards, then cook.

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