When it comes to seafood there is a wide variety to choose from. This diversity does not just apply to different kinds of seafood such as fish or crabs. It can also apply to different kinds of seafood that belong to the same species of sea creature. One such popular seafood that is also diverse as a species is Mussels. Furthermore, seafood lovers and Mussel lovers in particular have long debated a particular question namely: What are the differences between Green, Black and Blue Mussels? We shall explore this fascinating question together. Shall we begin?
What makes Green, Black and Blue Mussels different?
There are a variety of factors that differentiate Green Black and Blue Mussels. They include characteristics such as size, where they can be found as well as their taste and texture. Furthermore, the terms Green Mussel, Black Mussel and Blue Mussel refer to many different kinds of Mussels that are called by these names. We shall explore the characteristics of these different Mussels and as we discuss them, their differences will become more apparent to you.
The different varieties of Black Mussels
When someone uses the term Black Mussels, it may refer to a few different kinds of Mussels. Mussels that are called Black Mussels include the following.
- Choromytilus meridionalis
- Bay Mussels, also called Foolish Mussels (Scientific name: Mytilus trossulus)
- Mediterranean Mussel (Scientific name: Mytilus galloprovincialis)
The scientific name of this Black Mussel is Choromytilus meridionalis. Its name is derived from the colour of its shell. In terms of its size, these Mussels can grow to lengths of up to 15cm/5.90 Inches. This Mussel can be found in the southern part of Africa. With regards to its flavour and texture, Choromytilus meridionalis is known for having a strong flavour accompanied by a soft and tender texture.
The next Black Mussel that we will be discussing is the Bay Mussel. These Mussels are found in places located around the Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean. They include Hokkaido, Japan, Canada as well as parts of the USA such as California, Alaska, and Maine. In terms of size, these Mussels can grow to up to 10cm/3.94 Inches in height. Moreover Bay Mussels have been observed to be able to hybridise with other Mussels such as the Blue Mussel. A reason for this is linked to their taxonomic name Mytilus which indicates that they belong to the same taxonomic group that includes Bay Mussels, Blue Mussels and Mediterranean Mussels. Apart from these distinguishing characteristics, Bay Mussels are known to have a sweet taste and firm meat texture.
Yet another Mussel that is referred to as a Black Mussel is the Mediterranean Mussel. This Mussel can be found in the Mediterranean Sea, hence its name. It can grow to a size of up to 15cm/5.90 Inches. Furthermore, since this Mussel has a similar bluish rim on its shell, it sometimes gets confused with Blue Mussels (Scientific name: Mytilus edulis). Furthermore this Mussel has been observed to hybridise with other similar Mussels such as the Bay Mussel. A reason why is connected to their taxonomic group Mytilus. This group of Mussels that includes Bay Mussels and Blue Mussels have been observed to be able to hybridise with one another according to scientists. When it comes to the taste and texture of Mediterranean Mussels, they are known to have a mild, delicate flavour alongside a buttery texture.
The different kinds of Green Mussels
The term Green Mussels can refer to different Mussels that are called by that name. They include the following Mussels.
- New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel (Scientific name: Perna canaliculus)
- Asian Green Mussel (Scientific name: Perna Viridis)
The New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel
The New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel (Perna canaliculus) is indigenous to New Zealand. It is also called the Greenshell Mussel. These Mussels can grow up to 100mm (3.94 Inches) in size. In terms of taste and texture, the New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel is known to have a mild and savoury flavour alongside a tender, firm texture that is chewier and fleshier than Choromytilus meridionalis.
The Asian Green Mussel
Another kind of Green Mussel that you may have heard of is the Asian Green Mussel (Scientific name: Perna viridis). The term Green Mussel tends to refer to this particular species of Green Mussel. Like the New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel, the Asian Green Mussel is so named due to the colour of its shell. In terms of where it can be found, Asian Green Mussels are located in a wide range of places within the Indo-Pacific area. This includes Japan, Singapore, the Persian Gulf and many other places. Furthermore, with regards to their size, Asian Green Mussels can grow up to 15cm (5.90 Inches). On top of that, Asian Green Mussels have a sweet flavour alongside a firm and chewy texture.
As for the term Blue Mussels, it refers to the following Mussels.
- Blue Mussels (Scientific name: Mytilus edulis)
- Chilean Blue Mussel (Scientific names: Mytilus platensis/Mytilus edulis platensis/ Mytilus chilensis)
The Blue Mussel (Mytilus edulis)
The Mussel commonly referred to as the Blue Mussel is a type of Mussel known by the scientific name Mytilus edulis. This Mussel can be found in parts of the USA in California and North Carolina as well as in Japan and the southern part of the Mediterranean region. This Mussel can attain a size of up to 6 cm/2.36 Inches. Moreover, with regards to their taste and texture, these Mussels have a sweet flavour and a texture that is not too firm.
The Chilean Blue Mussel
The Chilean Blue Mussel is another kind of Blue Mussel known by a variety of scientific names. It can be found near the coastal area of Chile stretching from the Arauco Gulf to Cape Horn in the country. This Mussel can attain a size of up to 18cm/7.08 Inches. As for their taste and texture, the Chilean Blue Mussel has a sweet flavour and a meat texture that is nice and tender.
Differences between Green Mussels, Black Mussels and Blue Mussels
Now that we have discussed the different Mussels that are referred to by the names Green Mussel, Black Mussel and Blue Mussel, We shall illustrate the differences between these Mussels with the use of a table for your reference.
|Choromytilus meridionalis||Strong and slightly sweet flavour.||Soft and tender.||Southern Africa including countries such as Namibia and South Africa.||150mm/5.90 Inches|
|Bay Mussel (Mytilus Trossulus)||Sweet flavour.||Firm texture.||Found in the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean that includes Canada, Hokkaido Japan and parts of the USA such as California, Alaska and Maine.||10cm/3.94 Inches|
|Mediterranean Mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis)||Mild delicate flavour.||Buttery texture.||The Mediterranean Sea||15cm/5.90 Inches|
|New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel (Perna canaliculus)||Mild and savoury taste.||Tender, firm, fleshier and chewier than Black Mussels (Choromytilus meridionalis).||Native to New Zealand||10cm/3.94 Inches|
|Asian Green Mussel (Perna viridis)||It has a natural sweet flavour.||Firm and chewy texture.||Found within the Indo-Pacific area that includes the Persian Gulf, Japan and other places.||150mm/5.90 Inches|
|Blue Mussel (Mytilus edulis)||Sweet flavour.||Not too firm a texture.||Found in Japan, the southern part of the Mediterranean and parts of the USA such as California and North Carolina.||6cm/2.36 Inches|
|Chilean Blue Mussel (Mytilus platensis/Mytilus edulis platensis/ Mytilus chilensis)||Sweet flavour.||Tender.||Found near the coastal areas of Chile stretching from the Arauco Gulf to Cape Horn.||18cm/7.08 Inches|
Green Mussels vs Black Mussels vs Blue Mussels
As can be seen from the table above, there are major differences between the different Mussels we have discussed Some differences include the following points.
- Choromytilus meridionalis has been shown to have a very strong taste that differentiates it from the other Mussels we have discussed.
- Bay Mussels have a firm texture.
- Mediterranean Mussels have a mild delicate flavour and a buttery texture
- New Zealand Green Lipped Mussels are fleshier and chewier than Choromytilus meridionalis.
- The Chilean Blue Mussel appears to be the largest of the Mussels we have discussed.
- By contrast the Mytilus edulis/Blue Mussel is the smallest Mussel in terms of size among those we have discussed.
Gaining a deeper understanding about Green, Black and Blue Mussels
From what we have encountered over the course of our exploration we have come to attain a deeper understanding about some of the differences between Green Mussels, Black Mussels and Blue Mussels such as the differences in their taste and so on. We also learnt about where they can be found too.With that said, you can experience the delicious taste and texture that comes with some of the Mussels we have discussed at Pickme. Enjoy!