very Saturday, Quai No. 4 honors Belgium by proposing all you can eat mussels and fries! Enjoy delicious mussels and fresh fries in our inviting atmosphere. Quench your thirst and order a pitcher of microbrewed beer or taste some of our bio-dynamic white wines.
The mussels and fries first appeared on the tables at the Liège Fair in 1875. Since then, it has become an iconic dish in Belgium, although it is also very popular in the northern region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais in France. Each year in September, at the Braderie de Lille, mussels and fries fanatics are having a great time. In 2009, 500 tons of mussels and 30 tons of French fries have been swallowed up in just a few days.
Several mussel and fries recipes exist. The most commonly cooked are moules natures (steamed), garlic mussels, beer mussels, cream mussels, moules parquées (served with lemon mustard) and the most popular, moules marinières (cooked in wine with herbs).
Archaeological evidence shows that the mussel (also called Mytilida) has been eaten by humans since prehistoric times. It is even thought that mussel shells could have served as rudimentary spoons for these primitive but very skillful peoples. Excavations on more recent sedimentary strata have shown that the populations of South America were already consuming mussels centuries ago, leaving in some places piles of empty shells.
Nowadays, mussels are caught or raised in aquaculture. Mussel fishing in the northern hemisphere is from June to September. They are taken by drag, because the banks are in shallow water. Although the market remains dominated by wild-mussels, aquaculture mussels are still numerous. More than one million tonnes of mussels are grown each year worldwide, all species combined.