A bivalve mollusk with worldwide distribution. There are salt and freshwater varieties. The thin shell means there is more meat compared to the same weight of clams or oysters. The yellow meat has a sweet and delicate flavor.-Epicurus

The memory of a sweet, no-grit-in-your-mouth bowl of mussels drenched with sauce that almost makes you forget you are eating mussels with your crusty bread, always has a lasting effect on me. Sometimes the tint of the coral-colored flesh makes me feel like I am eating something endangered, and enjoying a black market secret stash of these black-shelled delights. I try to enjoy them this way too. Like it might be the last batch I may ever have. With overfishing this isn’t so far off. It’s no clam. I can’t throw three or four in some melted butter in a conveyor belt fashion and call it dinner. Three in the butter, one in my mouth, one in the butter, one in my mouth, etc. The key is using the freshest mussels you can find, don’t worry about the kind so much. These are a few of my favorite steamed mussel recipes.  Good bread is a must.
*I add some celery and heavy cream.
Steamed Mussels with Saffron and Tomato from One Pot Wonders

Steamed Mussels
with Lemon- Saffron Sauce from Bon Appetit magazine
Mussels with Basil Cream from Gourmet magazine
*I add some tomatoes to the mussels with basil cream, and sometimes substitute shallot for the onion.