Memoirs of a Navy Brat






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Green Mussels Indulgence




Green mussels are a common and favorite seafood fare among Filipinos. Cavite, especially the municipality of Bacoor, which is just at the opposite side of the bay, is one of the major suppliers of green mussels sold in the market, mussel farming being a main livelihood source.

Green mussels and oysters were abundantly found clinging to the sea walls, the sunken pontoon barges, as well as the poles alongside it, behind our quarters. Anytime we wanted to treat ourselves with mussels, we just dove anywhere at the sites mentioned, and harvest as much as we could. The harvests were of assorted sizes, some mussels really big ones reaching about 6 inches. The only discomfort was unfortunately having your fingers pricked by the sharp bristles of sea urchins which were sometimes lurking at the harvest site.  

Diving for green mussels was almost always an impromptu event among the boys in the neighborhood, usually when we wanted to take a dip in the sea and needed something to partake of later. Mussels were the perfect fare, it's free, quick to harvest, easy to clean and cook, healthy, and taste terrific. After cleaning the mussels by washing it with fresh water, we simply boiled it, adding sauteed ginger, garlic and onion. Only lately did I learn from a friend that adding a bottle of Seven Up into the boiling water will give it even a better taste. At times, we just tossed mussels into an open fire for even quicker cooking. We build a small fire from scrap wood under some shady spot, behind either our quarters or our neighbor's. Anyone in the households who wanted to partake in the feast was welcomed, for there was more than enough for everyone. They also relished the oysters, which my taste buds and stomach simply couldn't take, until now.

Aside from green mussels and oysters, I also learned how to look for clams. Low tides allowed us the opportunity to scour the stones and sand for clams, where they are usually found. Finding clams under stones is the easier way to gather it, but locating it under the the sand is a bit more difficult and requires a little technique. You've got to have a pointed implement, wood or metal, for pricking the sand as you walk along. Clams will blow up water when hit by the implement, thus, giving away its position. Yeah, I think you guessed it right..... I learned this technique from that same guy, Juanito, the fisherman.

[An Ocean Crab Story]



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