The Proper Way to Eat Mussels

Mussels are high in protein. Once mussels are cooked, the shells pop open. The mussels are typically served in their shells as an appetizer at restaurants or at dinner parties. Eating mussels from the shell can be a challenging experience if you have never consumed the shellfish. You can eat a mussel with your hands if you are dining at a casual restaurant. If you are eating at an elegant restaurant or event, you will want to eat the mussels with a fork to avoid embarrassment.

Hold onto the top portion of the mussel shell with one hand. Grab the bottom of the mussel shell with your other hand. Move the top shell back and forth to remove it from the bottom shell.

Scoop the mussel from the bottom shell with the detached top shell. This will loosen it so that you can eat it easily.

Hold the shell to your lips and slide the mussel into your mouth.

Slide a fork under the mussel.

Twist the fork to remove the mussel from the shell.

Lift the mussel from the shell, and slide it into your mouth. If you want to dip it into a sauce, you will need to push the prongs of the fork into the mussel and dip it into the sauce.


Avoid eating raw mussels if you have liver complications because they can contain harmful bacteria and parasites. Avoid eating mussels if their shells are not opened. Unopened shells indicate that the mussels were dead before cooking.

Things You'll Need

  • Fork
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About the Author

Angela LaFollette holds a Bachelor of Arts in advertising with a minor in political science from Marshall University. LaFollette found her passion for writing during an internship as a reporter for "The West Virginia Standard" in 2007. She has more than six years of writing experience and specializes in topics in garden and pets.