Thursday, March 5, 2009

I Want Mussel(s)!!! (long live Grace Jones!)

Ok, so here's the deal ... my dude and I decide to visit Short Hills Mall in New Jersey last night to pick up some things and afterward we were hungry so we decided to eat at a spot within the mall called Legal Sea Foods. Ever been? Well, I'd been once before a few years ago in Boston, so I knew it was good stuff and felt comfy with a return. My dude ordered the Legal's New England Clam Chowder, the Fried Fisherman's Platter and we shared the Classic Caesar Salad. I ordered the Nutty Atlantic Salmon for an entree and for a shared appetizer, I ordered the Mussels ... they came out ... the waiter commented on how fragrant they were just as I was thinking it and I quickly cosigned him verbally with a "yessssss they do smell goooood". The garlic scent was heavy and I loved it! He exited and my dude and I toasted. He began to taste the soup and commented how creamy it was, better than another place we went to oddly enough in Boston, but not the same trip in which I first dined at Legal Sea Foods. Ok, so that was his first scoop of soup and comment ... my turn. So, I looked over the bowl and picked out the first one. It was large, wide open and ready to go with a big chunk of chopped garlic right on the edge of it's opening. It had first bite written all over it. I released it from it's shell and gave it a go. Just about two chews in I got a hard crack on my tooth, I thought to myself, "Arrrooo?", like Scooby Doo. My dude was watching my face and caught the look because he was intently awaiting my first reaction as I did his. So, I took one more tousle and chew and hit it again, quickly followed by me doing that food isolation thing we do in our mouths so I could better feel it. At first feel it surely wasn't jagged like a possible shell piece or debris. Simultaneously, I could tell my face was confusing because I was in turn getting a confused face from across the table. I grabbed a napkin and as discreetly as possible emptied the clinker into the napkin to reveal a larger than pea-sized, rounded, black, smooth, but irregularly shaped around the edges mass. I said to myself before I passed it over the tabletop, "Is this what I think???? -- It can't be". I passed it and said something close to, "Look at this. Is. This. uhhhh... what is it?". My dude was just as dumbfounded as me, like are we seeing what we think we are? We both decided, let's call our waiter over and give him a look. A second later he passed by and we gave him the nod, he made a swift turn to us and asked what we needed. I told him it was within the first mussel I tried. He took a look and his first guess was that it looked like a "tiny mussel". I immediately said, nooo ... look at it. Then I thought to myself, not that a mussel can't be smooth, but this was smooth and had a different sheen to it and color as well. The waiter said he'd go check with the chef. Ok, I said and he returned with the verdict ... the chef said in his opinion he agreed with me. :-) Looks as though, it may actually be a natural black pearl. WHAAAA!?? So, look, it may be a rock for all I know ... until I take it to an appraiser. What I can say is it was within the mussel where a pearl would be and If you've never heard of a pearl from a mussel, give a quick search online. I've become a bit more acquainted myself in the last day. Here's the pic .... albeit flash heavy due to the low light and the low quality of a cell phone flick ...

What do you think it is???

I guess I need to find an appraiser, huh?

14 comments:

EricaMichele77 said...

That is so crazy-go get it checked out. At the very least it's a GREAT story :)

Mise En Place said...

That's so cool!
Glad you didn't bite into it! LOL :D

Lana said...

I love mussels too! As you say, fragrant, tasty and per ounce, about half the fat of a skinless chicken breast, excellent source of B12, good source of zinc and folate ... and now pearls?

I've heard of pearls coming from freshwater mussels, but not from marine mussels. So it will be really interesting to see what you find out! Very intriguing!

duodishes said...

ha!!! Get that appraised. :) The female half of the Duo is from Whippany, NJ, so she knows all about Short Hills mall...well at least from back in the day. Never been to that restaurant, but if you're finding pearls in mussels, it's on the list.

Sunny Anderson said...

ericamichele77, i know right? i got i t appraised ... details soon ...

mise en place, hey girl! i did bite a bit, but not enough for a dental visit

lana, mussels r grrreat, i prefer them just solo, no pasta or blah blah blah ... just give em to me and let me go! and thanks for the nutrition lesson! i feel way better about the week of full on eating i just capped off.

duodishes, i went to an appraiser today, stick around for the details. and i know whippany! yeah, jersey is mall central. i like that one and the one in paramus, nj. and legal s.f. is pretty good, 2 for 2 with me :-). no endorsement, just a person telling a person, the food is good, menu is good and changes, and both times i liked the atmosphere. the web page said it was trying to expand, so maybe it'll get close to you two...

Mise En Place said...

Sunny, I meant glad you didn't swallow it! My brain was still in sleep mode, good grief! That's what happens when your body gets up before your brain wakes up. LOL

I was thinking about a news report I read about a gal who swallowed an engagement ring hidden in a milkshake.

Eric said...

Hey Sunny! as the only Animal Behaviorist here on your blog LOL, In my opinion it definitely looks like a pearl., Mussels produce pearls but its pretty rare. But all bivalves(i.e. clams oysters, mussels) have the ability to produce pearls, Although we love them as jewelry, its actually just a bivalve's way of protecting itself when it gets a foreign substance in their body.. Man! youre so lucky! I had mussels a few wks ago and all I was left with was the bill and garlic breath :)

ken said...

what up girl...

dinner,jewel an unbeatable combination....a perfect outing i would say...from what my eyes can see...it looks very much like an authentic black pearl...the value of it very from...a few dollars to a few hundred dollars maybe even thousands....

ken aka i dont want you to feel that i'm bothering you by bothering you to much...ummm let me hold a dollar, miss new money....take care sweetie until...

t2ed said...

I had no idea mussels made black pearls.

And now I really want some chowdah from Legal Sea Foods. I think I went 3 times last time business took me to Boston. Mmmm.

Sunny Anderson said...

mise en place, i gotcha .. and saw that report about the shake. i'm like, no straw? just gulp? poor girl ...

eric, i know it does right? i'll post prelim results tonight ... if i'm not too beat from taping

ken, hey! even if it turns out to be debris, it's a pearl to me lol

t2ed, neither did i, learn something everyday huh? yeah, the one i went to in boston was right on the water, i left dinner and right outside caught a graveyard tour, fun way to spend the evening after a good meal and a few drinks!

Mrs. L said...

Leaving us in suspense! I have to know if it was a pearl or not :)
Years (YEARS) ago, they used to have "pearl oyster" parties where you would go, pick your oyster out of a tank and they would guarantee you a pearl. Then they would make it into jewelry or something. I was about 8 and my mom let me pick one and I came up with a black pearl. They tried to buy it from us but we kept it. I still have it in my jewelry box, never did get it set in anything.

Sunny Anderson said...

mrs. l, what a neat story! you should totally put it on a chain! i may actually do myself, no matter how the appraisal turned out.

Lys said...

Legal Seafoods goes above and beyond - pearls with dinner ;) Miss their clam chowder - that stuff is divine. I think there's a Legal Seafoods in Fla. - will have to look.

Sunny Anderson said...

lys, my dude was killing the chowder and continuously commenting on it, i was like shut up! i want something creamy and i'm trying to watch my intake a bit lol ... he is so skinny and eats like a horse. totally unfair.