The flesh of domestic mussels is anywhere from ivory to bright orange; it's the black shells and their iridescent blue interiors that give the mussels their common names: blue and black mussels. There are several species, one of which has been on the West Coast so long that it was considered a native until experts took a closer look and discovered that it is the same as those found in the Mediterranean. (The speculation is that their ancestors fell off the boat bottoms of early explorers and made themselves right at home.) These mussels share a delicate flavor and texture that stand up surprisingly well to the intense black pepper and garlic sauce that chef-proprietor Chris Yeo makes at Straits Cafe (in San Francisco and Palo Alto). This five-ingredient Singaporean dish is as remarkably quick and easy to make as it is bold and beautiful.
- FOOD & WINE