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Typical Products

MUSSELS OF SCARDOVARI DOP


DESCRIPTION:

Cozza di ScardovariBelonging to the Mytilidae family, mussels are shellfish covered with two symmetrical elongated oval shells and coloured black or violetish-black on the outside and pearl-like on the inside and about 6-8 cm long. The animal enclosed is turgid of an intense yellow in the female and whitish in the male, of delicate taste and smell which evokes the saltiness of the sea.
The typical shape of M.Galloprovincialis stands out for its equivalve shell, elongated, inequilateral and elongated, with the dorsal part pointed and the ventral part rounded. Its margins are partly parallel.
The Blue Mussel can reach large dimensions: it is fairly frequent to find specimens more than 10cm long. Maximum length is 11 cm.
The specimen with the longest valves (166 mm) is kept in the Museo del Mare in Barcelona. The legal minimum size is 50 mm.


PRODUCTION AREA:

The Mussel of Scardovari is bred within an area of 12 hectares specially given in concession within the Basin of Scardovari and in the open sea in the offshore areas of Rosolina and Scardovari, in areas with a total extension of 1600 hectares. Here the mussels are bred in floating plants(offshore) with in suspension (long-line) rearing systems.


BIOLOGY, ECOLOGY AND HISTORY:

The area of the Po Delta is an extremely special environment both for its soil and climate and for its wildlife. Fishing has always been one of the most important occupations for the economy of the territory and the mollusk farming, rearing clams and mussels, has become increasingly important. Mussel farming arose in the Scardovari basin in the late 1960s and today breeding still takes place in special plants.
It is the peculiarity of the brackish environment of the Po Delta lagoons which give the mussels of Scardovari a decidedly superior quality and particularly delicate taste. It is in fact the excellent quality of these mussels which has enabled, in recent years, the promotion of the product even in Europe with undoubtedly good results.


SEASONALITY:

The best period for consumption runs from April to September.


USEFUL TO KNOW:

The mussel is a species that withstands short periods of emersion and so forms dense colonies that, from the lower tide levels, descend down to a depth of several metres. It lives attaching itself to various substrates using a solid filament of protein fibres called a byssus. It is detached by scraping.
It reproduces during spring by emitting planktonic larvae. Once freed, they float in the water until they find an ideal substrate on which to settle.
The meat of this species is lean and contains a reasonable amount of protein and a good level of iron and vitamin A. It can also be eaten raw, but is appreciated especially gratin-baked or as an ingredient in fish soups.


MARKETING:

It is marketed fresh and frozen. Available mainly in spring and summer at the fish markets across the Polesine and in the new sales outlet at the purification plant of the Consortium of Fishing Cooperatives of the Polesine based in Scardovari (RO), in Via della Borsa n ° 11, Tel.0426/389226 Fax. 0426/389148 with the following opening times to the public: Monday to Friday from 9.00 to 12.00am-from 2 to 5pm. Saturdays from 9.00 to 12.00am.


MARKET OF REFERENCE:

Consorzio Cooperative Pescatori del Polesine
Organizzazione di Produttori
Soc. Coop. A.r.l.
Via della Sacca 11
45010 Scardovari (RO)
Tel. 0426/389226

Retail:
Monday to Friday-morning and
afternoon; Saturday-morning
Wholesale: from Monday to Friday-morning and afternoon
(in some periods of the year also on Saturdays and public holidays).
For information on opening times phone 0426 389226.




Gastronomy:

MUSSELS ALLA POLESANA

COZZE ALLA POLESANAIngredients (for 10 servings)
50 g extra virgin olive oil, 3 cloves of garlic, pepper, 2,5 kg of mussels, 0,4 l white wine, 30g lemon juice, 30 g of chopped parsley

Method
Remove barbel from mussels and wash them thoroughly.
Brown garlic with oil and a little pepper then add washed and drained mussels.
Drizzle with white wine, stir and cover with a lid.
After a few minutes check that the shells are all open, then remove from heat and garnish with lemon and chopped parsley.
Serve hot. A little chili powder may also be added when browning the garlic.



MUSSEL SAUCE

This preparation is typical of the lower Polesine; on the other hand, with such a florid fishing tradition it would be impossible not to make good use of the product in the kitchen. The doses in this recipe are not easily found in written form, it is often the local women who pass them down orally from mother to daughter establishing the quantities of garlic or onion, oil or butter, parsley and Bay leaves, fresh tomato or tomato paste to be used in the recipe.
This ragout lends itself to dressing pasta, griddled bread or polenta to serve as appetizers before a meal, it is an excellent base for tasty risottos, can be used to stuff cannelloni or crepes, or can be used in fish pies, another culinary speciality of the Polesine.

Ingredients(for 4 servings)
800 g fresh mussels, 80 g chopped or sliced onion, 2 g garlic, 50 g of olive oil, 2 g chopped parsley, a bay leaf, 10 g dry white wine, salt and pepper, 150 g tomato sauce or a nice ripe fresh tomato, optional.

Method
Clean the mussels, remove external barbel and byssus (root) and wash them thoroughly, put in a frying pan with oil and garlic, cover with lid and simmer a few minutes until they open. Shell the mussels. In a separate saucepan, sauté chopped onion in good olive oil, add the mussels, the white wine, parsley, bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste and the tomato sauce if a red sauce is required, simmer a few minutes further and the sauce is ready.




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