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I bought and cooked these mussels today. I'd like to know if there is anything wrong with the left hand mussel. Is the color, size an indicator for freshness? I'm guessing it was 'captured' (OK, collected) longer ago than the one on the right.

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A couple of weeks ago I bought a batch that came out like the one on the right.

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Captured longer ago or not, should not make a difference. When you buy mussels, they are still alive. You can check this by trying to open one. Normally, this isn't an easy task. (Sometimes, their shells can open/close when opening the package in which they came in.)

The left hand mussel doesn't look tasty, but there really is nothing wrong with it. It's just a smaller size mussel. If you buy bigger mussels (e.g. Jumbo), you shouldn't have many of those in it.

As for the colour: a lot of people think this is a matter of sex. Males are white, females are orange. However, this isn't true. The difference in colour is a genetic one, it's the quantity of pigment a specific mussel has. The difference in colour doesn't make a difference in taste or texture.

Shortly: that mussel on the left hand side is okay to eat.

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