My dad originated from a long line of fishermen, and consequently fish are something I´ve been used since I was child. I remember my first shrimps and my first mussels and my first time filleting a whole fish. Before I moved to Rostock, I lived in Brandenburg and fresh fish or mussels are a rare delicacy. Since I´ve been here, I´m literally in fish heaven and at the same time always surprised how few people like or know how to eat seafood. At this point I just have to jump in and do my best to promote seafood and maybe clarify some questions around mussels.
First, Rostock and Warnemünde are great places to buy and enjoy it – the closeness to the sea, Warnemünde as an old historic fisher village, a fish market , and other fish shops are all create seafood paradise. My personal favourite place is a relatively unimpressive fish shop in the Rostocker Hof. The shop is part of the Portola Bistro chain and offers standards like fish sandwiches and fish salads. But the three best products, in my opinion, are their sushi, the mussels and sometimes, with a good portion of luck also oysters. The sushi is freshly made by a sushi master from Hamburg. Sushi masters are highly respected, and it takes up to 15 years to become one. Only men are allowed to become sushi masters, and they learn not from imitation, but close observation. If this doesn´t convince you, I don´t know what else to say or do, besides promise you high quality and great taste. If the price is too frightening, a good alternative can be found the Edaka in the Warnowcenter. They have freshly made sushi and even some vegetarian options.
Now to the mussels. Mussels! Oh heaven, I love them. There not many things which tastes as good as mussels with a white wine sauce, fresh baguette, and glass of white wine. But mussels really do frightening people. It might be the consistency or problems how to eat them properly. To ease that anxiety, I have some tips for you!
First, if the mussels are cooked and then still closed, they are rodden and shouldn´t be eaten.
Second, the proper way to eat mussels seems to be a great mystery. But it isn´t as difficult as some might expect; I promise. There are different ways to eat mussels in a proper, polite way. You can eat them with a special, small fork. One is holding a mussel in the left hand and the mussel in the right hand. I personally prefer the second way. That means, I use a fork for the very first mussel. After that I use the empty mussel as tongs for the rest. You only have to hold the mussel tongs in the right hand and pick new mussels with the left. After all of them are finished, the bread is dunked in the sauce.
Last, not least but the most controversial seafood: oysters! I can literally see you sniffing, shuddering, and grimacing in disgust right now. And yes, I know that oyster don´t look nice and that their consistency might be unusually. But I stick with my parents wisdoms: You have to try them at least three times to be sure you don´t like them! Oysters are served in many ways. Normally oyster are opened right before serving and traditionally come with fresh lemon juice and pepper. In Europe, oysters are normally eaten raw. Consequently, oysters need to as fresh as possible and high quality. Now the million-dollar question: How to eat oysters? Basically, oysters are not eaten – there are slurped. As they are served inside their shell, you place the shell on your lip and then slurp the oyster. It really looks like taking an oyster “Shot”. Now the chewing! Oysters are chewed and not just swallowed. This might be the scariest part for seafood beginners, but I beg you to trust me! It is worth it!
Seafood is controversial, but there are delicate with a wide range of flavours ad consistencies. There are healthy, often less expensive than expected and in Rostock very good available.