FOOD: Mus­sels with kombu but­ter.

The Saturday Paper - - Contents | The Week - David Moyle

I re­cently spent my week­end col­lect­ing and cook­ing shell­fish in the pris­tine waters of south­ern Tas­ma­nia.

It’s a pas­time I re­ally en­joy. Col­lect­ing shell­fish pro­vides a strong con­nec­tion with na­ture and re­quires ob­ser­va­tion and an un­der­stand­ing of the en­vi­ron­ment from which they are har­vested.

In aqua­cul­ture, mus­sels are a pretty mag­i­cal part of our food sys­tem. They have a restora­tive im­pact on their en­vi­ron­ment from fil­ter feed­ing that can re­sult in one mus­sel pro­cess­ing more than 100 litres of wa­ter in a 24-hour pe­riod. This fil­ter­ing also means that no food in­puts are re­quired.

Mus­sels are ef­fec­tively im­mo­bile in na­ture and there­fore repli­cat­ing their nat­u­ral ex­is­tence is rel­a­tively sim­ple. Be­cause of this, they have be­come in­te­gral to the de­vel­op­ment of in­te­grated ocean farm­ing sys­tems.

But above all of this, mus­sels are both in­ter­ac­tive and nour­ish­ing. We too of­ten for­get to cel­e­brate and ap­pre­ci­ate a sin­gu­lar ob­ject, in­stead al­ways

• gour­man­dis­ing by adding more.

Photography: Earl Carter

DAVID MOYLE is a chef. He is a food ed­i­tor of The Satur­day Pa­per.

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