I love mussels (and oysters); give me a glass of champagne and a dozen Pacifics or West of Ireland Browns and I’m in Stone Age heaven (Oh yes, there were fermented fruits in Stone Age times, didn’t you know that?) So I’m right along there with Nature!

Her bounties spread beyond the table.

It turns out that mussels are the latest surgical breakthrough (I love amazing things!)

Current sutures are non-biological and can cause complications such as discomfort, infection and inflammation. Synthetic adhesives might have been a way round this but they are somewhat toxic and environmentally unfriendly. But bio and eco-friendly adhesives — that’s a different matter altogether.

Here come the mussels.

Surgeons can now use mussel glue. This is an improved way of joining tissues, because the use of the inkjet squirt technology gives surgeons greater control over the placement of the adhesive. It helps ensure that the tissues are joined together in just the right spot, forming a better bond that leads to improved healing and less scarring.

The study that tells us is to be published in the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research B next month (April 2009).

Meantime, here’s a GREAT mussels recipes from my son, Magnus, who is a prize-winning chef with a Michelin 1-star background.

Asian Mussels Mariniere

2lb/1kg of fresh mussels, cleaned and scrubbed
2 Tbsp olive oil or butter
1 Tsp crushed garlic
1/2 Tsp crushed fresh ginger
1 blade of lemon grass very finely chopped
1/2 Tsp mild curry paste or Thai red curry paste
1/2 bunch spring onions (scallions) finely sliced
1 small red chilli very finely sliced
2 tomatoes cut into fine strips
1 X 400ml tin coconut milk
Handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves
Wedges of lime or lemon to garnish

thai_musselsNutrition: Mussels are a truly fantastic food. Very rich in selenium, vitamin b-12, zinc and folate. They are very low in fat and cholesterol but very protein rich. What’s more they are cheap and plentiful, except in the summer months

There may seem like a lot of ingredients to this dish, but as long as they are all prepared before hand the dish only takes a couple of minutes to make.

First, heat the oil or butter in a sauce-pan large enough to hold all the mussels or a wok.

Add the garlic, ginger and lemongrass when the oil is hot and cook for 60 seconds or so until the flavours are released but make sure they don’t start to brown. Add the curry paste and stir in well.

Add the spring onions and chilli and toss in the pan.

Add all the mussels and toss around the pan, add the coconut milk and then put a tight fitting lid on the pan, or cover with a plate. After a couple of minutes check to see if the mussels have opened. If not give the pan a good shake and cook for another couple of minutes.

When the mussels have opened add the tomatoes and stir through.

Spoon into bowls and scatter with coriander (cilantro) leaves. Serve with lemon wedges and fresh steamed Thai jasmine rice to soak up all the lovely sauce!