It’s mussel pizza day

The perfect lunch--a big bowl of green-shell mussels. Photo by David Lansing.

It’s Thursday and you know what that means: It’s Pizza Day at the Slip Inn Café in Havelock. And since Havelock is the self-proclaimed green-shell mussel capital of the world and the Slip Inn serves the tasty little bivalves every way imaginable, it will come as no surprise to you that the most interesting item on the menu on Pizza Day is “Havelock’s Own Mussel Pizza,” made with fresh mussels, sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, and red onions.

Lovely.

If you were with us yesterday than you’ll know that I spent an entire afternoon aboard David Morgan’s charter boat, Odyssey, tied up at a mussel farm in the Marlborough Sound eating bowl after bowl of steamed green mussels cooked to perfection by David’s lovely wife, Faye. What I didn’t tell you is that I then had more mussels for dinner.

So what did I want for lunch today? More green mussels, of course.

I can just hear Sonia saying, “Oh, dear, David. Don’t you think you might be O.D.ing on mussels?”

Never. You can’t have too many oysters or mussels.

Still, I wasn’t sure if I was really up for the mussel pizza. Not because it didn’t sound good—it did—but because there were just so many other tempting choices on the menu. Such as the beer-battered mussels with chips. Or mussels grilled with bacon and melted cheese (called the Kilpatrick). Then there were mussels with sweet chili sauce, mussels with cranberry and camembert, mussels in green curry—so many choices.

In the end, I was a purist: Mussels steamed with white wine and garlic with a little lemon. Perfect. But maybe I’ll try that mussel pizza for dinner.

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