Today we will talk about a typical fish dish from certain area of Puglia (or Apulia) region in Italy: the fried mussels.We’ll give you advice on where and how eat them and the recipe to cook this tasty dish.
Fried Mussels From Puglia
Yes, you got it right. That’s what we are going to talk about today.
Our first food post is officially online, and since in these last few weeks we wrote about Salento, we have chosen, as our first traditional dish, one of the best (but not the most obvious) specialties that you can find in Puglia.
This is not exactly haute cuisine and you’ll never see it in a fine dining restaurant menu. The reason why we have chosen fried mussels is because… they are delicious!
This delicacy can probably be found also in other regions of Italy (or the world) but we are sure that some of you might be against the idea of frying such a delicate ingredient.
And yet, that little mussel dipped in flour and fried in the great Puglia’s olive oil is without a doubt one of the most tasteful fish appetizer that you can eat in our country.
Believe us, when you will taste this dish, you will not be able to stop until the dish is empty.
Where to eat
They were (probably) originally from Taranto, since there is one of the largest production of mussels (Cozze Tarantine), but it can be found also on the coast of the rest of the region.
As you can imagine, this dish require long preparation time, especially for cleaning mussels, so it is very rarely served in restaurants.
Fried mussels are typically prepared by fish “trattorie” (typical Italian restaurant) next to the sea or directly from one of the several fishmongers that in Puglia own a little restaurant next to their shop.
We go to eat near Porto Cesareo. Particularly, in Sant’Isidoro, well known by locals for seafood, all restaurants serve this dish.
Here is a list of restaurants that serve fried mussels in Sant’Isidoro:
- Ristorante La Nave
- Ristorante Blu Mare
- La Torre da Fernando
- Da Romualdo
So what you should do is:
- Wait for 6.30/7 p.m.
- Take some COLD beers ( preferably Dreher, not as good as craft beer, but very typical)
- Go to any one of the restaurant we suggest to you and order take-out fried mussels
- Go back to the beach and enjoy your food in front of the sea at sunset
- Took the garbage to the bin
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always eaten fried mussels prepared this way:
1 Kg Mussels;
1 cup Flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
Clean well the mussels with water and discard the shell with a knife. Heat enough olive oil in a pot or fryer to be able to deep-fry the mussels (150/180°C it should be enough). Beat the eggs in a plate with the fork. First coat the mussels with flour, then dip quickly in the eggs and finally put in the oil as many mussels as you can and continue to fry until crispy. ( 3/4 minutes should be enough)
Drain the fried mussels on paper towels and salt. If you like it you can use a bit of lemon juice. Nothing else!
The dish is ready! Buon appetito!
Next time you will be in Puglia, don’t miss the chance to taste a big plate of fried mussels!
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