Zeeland’s mussel season
The season for Dutch mussels usually starts in early July with the new harvest. The exact start date of the season depends on the supply and the quality of the mussels, which in turn is related to the weather in spring. In June, the mussel recuperates again after the spawning period in April-May. The season for mussels from Zeeland continues until April of the following year.
With suspended culture, mussels tend to recuperate slightly faster following reproduction, meaning they are often ‘ripe’ for consumption in early June.
A persistent misunderstanding exists about the months in which mussels are available. In the past, mussels were only available during the months which (in Dutch) had an ‘r’ in their names. This had everything to do with shelf life. But since the availability of refrigerated transport, mussels are available from July to April. A closed climate-controlled chain from processing up to the store guarantees a fresh product with optimal flavour. This way, outstanding mussels from Zeeland are available for nine months a year. In the Netherlands, it is better to look at whether the name of the season contains an ‘r’: mussels are generally available in the summer (zomer), autumn (herst) and winter, and generally not in spring (lente).