Wed, November 30, 2011
Lifestyle > Food & Drink

Belgian mussels

2011-11-30 08:21:21 GMT2011-11-30 16:21:21(Beijing Time)  China Daily

Mussels are seen at Volle Gas restaurant in Brussels November 24, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

A customer prepares to eat a mussel at the Volle Gas restaurant in Brussels November 24, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

A customer prepares to eat a mussel at the Volle Gas restaurant in Brussels November 24, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

Cook Lavdim Kelmendi shakes a pot of mussels at the Volle Gas restaurant in Brussels November 24, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

Belgian cook Alexandre Vanlancker shakes a pot of mussels at the Chez Leon restaurant in central Brussels November 24, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

Belgian cook Alexandre Vanlancker displays a plate of mussels "a la provencale" with cheese, garlic, butter and tomato sauce at the Chez Leon restaurant in central Brussels November 24, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

Mussels start as larva, until they are heavy enough to sink to the bottom of the sea, where they grow wiry threads -- known as beards -- that allow them to latch on to anything around, forming great clumps of dark and heavily encrusted shells.

There in the deep, they feed heartily on plankton and grow plump. Marine mussels tend to live on exposed shores in intertidal waters and after two to three years are ready to be harvested. Zeeland, on the north coast of Belgium and the western Netherlands is a perfect place for the young molluscs to grow up and was long the source of most mussels in Belgium. Picture taken November 24, 2011.

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