My name is Ben. I currently live in Philadelphia, PA. Living in Philly has greatly increased my appreciation for nature's most affordable bivalve, the mussel. Two of my favorite restaurants, Monk's Cafe and Zot, serve Belgian-style mussels in a variety of delicious ways. While I was originally lured to these establishments by beer, I came away with a new appreciation for my new mollusc friends. I discovered that I could purchase them fresh at Philly's phenomenal Italian Market for about $2 per pound. When my friend Steve learned of the availability of fresh and reasonably priced mussels at the market (which is only three blocks from my house), he challenged me to cook mussels 50 different ways in the next year.
While I did agree to this challenge, I honestly did not take it very seriously at first. After all, Steve did not offer me any kind of reward. What's up with that, Steve? But I had so much fun cooking the first few recipes that I decided to start this blog and let the rest of the world in on my quest. I think of myself as a good cook, but not an amazing one. I will be coming up with some of these mussel recipes entirely on my own, and some will come directly from recipes written by others or from restaurant menus. I will try to cite recipes, restaurants and people that have influenced my creations, although I often just read a dozen random recipes for any given sauce or dish and make up my own variation as I go along. Anyway, I hope that this blog will provide inspiration to somebody out there.