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Green Mussels vs Black Mussels – What’s The Difference?

Black Mussels vs Green Mussels

What’s The Difference Between Green Mussels and Black Mussels?

The primary difference is the size and colors of the mussels. They are named after their black shells while green mussels are named after their gray-green shells. Additionally green mussels are twice as large which naturally makes them more expensive. The taste are similar in both green and black mussels.

Everyone loves seafood and there are plenty of choices available! They’re nutritious, delicious and extremely versatile that can be used with a variety of tastes!

Mussels are an extremely popular seafood product however, most people have heard of black mussels. What? There are different kinds of mussel? Yes, indeed! The green-lipped mussels are also widespread!

Today, we’ll examine not only the differences in these two areas, but also how they differ in the manner they are raised and their availability, which determines their cost and their use.

We will then take an in-depth look at how you can steam mussels and also how to cook them in your kitchen at home!

Black Mussels

Black mussels are perhaps the most widely-known and consumed mussel species. They are among the two species which are found throughout the U.S., the other being the green mussel.

They are often mistaken for blue mussels due to of their resemblance but they’re distinct.

Blue mussels have a blueish color, whereas the black mussels are black as. Their shapes and sizes closely resemble one the other, and in order to distinguish them , you must take a look at the colour on their shells.

Black mussels are abundant in the Pacific as well as Atlantic coasts where the temperature is cooler. Some of the countries that have the most aquaculture-intensive mussels are South Africa, Canada, China as well as in the United States.


The mussels are cultivated in the wild, meaning they are typically grown naturally to be harvested. Ropes are suspended from tightly packed areas to ensure that mussels can develop on them.

This makes it much simpler to collect and manage how much of the team is.

Another reason is that mussels that are black are more frequent than green mussels. If they grow naturally and require little effort they can produce bigger amounts.

Specifications of Black Mussels

Black mussels are the most commonly used therefore you already know the appearance of them. Their size averages approximately 2.5-inches long but it can depend on where you purchase them from.

Black mussels are incredibly intense in their taste that is not matched from other varieties. They also have a tender and soft texture, also being more chewy than green mussels.

Cost and Availability

Black mussels are found all over the world. This is due in part to the way they are kept and also due to their natural habitat in a many areas.

They can be found freshly frozen or in a variety of varieties. They can be as whole, half-shelled or even as a single piece of mussel (meaning there is no shell). It is also possible to see that they can be flavored or marinated.

The common mussels are the species that produce pickled or canned mussels.

Because it’s available all year long, the price is extremely reasonable and in some places even shockingly low!

Green Mussels

As we’ve mentioned previously green mussels are another popular species found within the U.S. and most other countries. Also, you will notice that they can be referred to by the name of “Green Lipped Mussels”.

The mussels are native of New Zealand and regions in the Pacific Rim (the Western shores in North as well as South America), although several countries such as India have begun to cultivate these mussels in open water.


Since these mussels originate from New Zealand, a lot of countries raise them on their own. The regulations and restrictions are extremely stringent and carefully observed. Farmers mussels need high quality of water and food.

Specifications of Green Mussels

The beautiful mollusk is the typical shape of mussels, but they’re much larger in dimensions, almost twice as larger than your standard white mussel. They’re about 6 inches in length that naturally impacts the price.

The mussels are very hard soft, chewy, and tender texture. It is evident that the flavor isn’t as strong in comparison to other species, however they are still delicious and some say they are they are slightly sweet.

Cost and Availability

Since these mussels are nearly only grown naturally within New Zealand or otherwise farmed, the price for them is considerably more expensive. They aren’t a lot but they’re difficult to locate as black or blue mussels.

The bigger size means they are more expensive and their seasonality.

These green mussels while being difficult to find are also available either frozen or fresh and comes in various forms, such as half shell, whole and even with meat only.

What’s the Different?

Now having reviewed the various seafood products separately, let’s examine their characteristics side by side.

Most importantly the color of their fur is what differentiated the two species the most.

Green-lipped mussels sport an evident grey shell that is adorned with gorgeous green hues. The black mussels are characterized by an deep and dark blue shell.

Another characteristic that sets them apart from one another is their dimensions. Green mussels tend to be larger than the standard black mussel, however they can both differ in dimensions.

Black mussels are known for their soft and soft texture and green mussels are known for their slightly chewier texture.

In terms of their taste, like every ingredient, it all comes down to individual taste, and neither one is “better” compared to the other. Black mussels possess extremely rich and sweet taste and green mussels don’t have as much of a presence.

The method in which mussels are raised also differs significantly. Mussels of black are cultivated in their natural habitat by ropes, which makes them quick and simple to catch.

They are also located in many regions around the globe where they are abundant.

Green mussels are, however, extremely rare, despite being quite common. Their rarity is due to being a fact they are only naturally occurring only in New Zealand and some coasts in South and North America.

The green-lipped mussels that are raised are farmed and are therefore more expensive to make and hence the higher cost.

Both of these varieties, considering they’re fairly popular, are available either in fresh or frozen form. In regions where they aren’t growing or being raised in any way or other, you’ll discover that frozen varieties are easier to locate.

In the local regions where they are plentiful You will notice that you can easily locate both frozen and fresh versions of which the fresh varieties are just a little more costly.

In the next step, you’ll discover entire mussels as well as half shells and the meat of the mussel in frozen and fresh versions. Also, you can find them in canned or pickled forms and even in a range of refreshing and tasty flavor combinations.

TraitsBlack MusselsGreen Mussels
SizeAverages about 2.5 inchesAverages about 6 inches
ShapeTraditional shapeTraditional shape, but a bit bigger
ColorDeep dark blueish black shellGrey shell with a noticeable green lip and shades of
TextureSoft and soft textureAlthough they are still soft they can be chewier
TasteA very intense flavor Some even say that they are that it is a little sweetA milder flavor however equally delicious
The availabilityIn almost every part of the world , and in the majority of the year.There is a chance to find it in some varieties throughout the year but it only grows throughout New Zealand, so is typically farmed and sold to export markets.
CostIt is very cost-effective due to the accessibilityThey are expensive due to their rarity despite being a very common kind

Utilization for Green as well as Black Mussels

When we examine the way each one can be used and how they’re used, they’re in a way interchangeable. Their tastes and textures are similar enough that it is possible to pick either due to the availability, price, and aesthetic appearance.

Mussels are consumed by people for two reasons: diet and health or simply because it’s delicious.

Mussels offer numerous health benefits and are a great choice as part of a pesco vegetarian diet. They’re high in nutritious and healthy proteins as well as omega-3 fatty acids along with a myriad of vitamins and minerals.

The most commonly used methods to cook almost any kind of mussels is to steam them in half-shells or whole and pan-frying the mussel meat.

For flavor green-lipped mussels as well as black mussels are great with the same components. The most flavorful accompaniments to seafood are always fresher and more flavorful like lemon juice , zest fresh olive oil, fresh herbs and even pickled items.

Garlic and wine are an effective and classic combination of flavors that improves the natural flavor of mussels wonderfully.

Some of the most creative ideas for mussels recipes are steam garlic, Fennel and wine mussels. There are also deep-fried, herb-crusted meats of mussels or some baked, cheesy mussels.

Steam Green as well as Black Mussels

If you are cooking mussels it is possible to use any type of mussels that is available. Most often the whole and half shell mussels are cooked however, the meat of mussels can be steamed in order to preserve the nutrients.

Both species of mussels cook in the same way , however their cooking times will differ. Since green mussels are naturally larger, they need to cook longer in comparison to black mussels.

Black mussels can cook for around 7 minutes and green mussels need to cook in between 10 and 12 minutes.

Steaming mussels is an excellent cooking technique that can help the meat of the mussel retain its flavor, moisture, and nutrients and enhances the color of the mussels.

Steaming is also a great way to blend flavors of other ingredients, such as wine and garlic, herbs and onion. You can find a variety of flavor options to play with.

What is HTML0? How to Steam Mussels

  1. Sauté any vegetable or spices aromatics, herbs, or vegetables you’d like to add.
  2. Then, add the mussels into the pot and immediately add the water base. It could be stock, broth wine, wine, or simply water.
  3. Cover the pan or pot with the lidand let the black mussels cook for around five minutes and green mussels for around 10-minutes.
  4. Take off the lid , and examine if a majority the lids have opened and this indicates that they’re fully cooked. If they’re still not ready, place the lid on the pot and cook for another two or three minutes.
  5. Serve it warm and preferably with cooking liquid. Garnish with fresh herb and zest.

The Green Mussels are pan-fried and Black Mussels

Another excellent and highly frequent method to cook mussels is to pan fry the meat of the mussel. This allows them to let the flavors of the meat out and gives them a smokey note..

The most simple mussels to cook in a pan are ones that do not have shells. However there are recipes for sautéing whole mussels that are added to a base sauce to further cook after opening.

The shells themselves have wonderful flavors that can be added into dishes.

Pan-frying mussels must be cooked using an ingredient that is liquid or wet. This is to stop the mussels from drying out and sticking to the pan or overcooking. Nothing is more unpleasant than a rubbery, chewy mussel!

How to pan-fry Whole Mussels

  1. Saute the main ingredients such as garlic, vegetables and herbs. Add spices, herbs, and other ingredients.
  2. Add a tablespoon of oil before adding all the mussels, and then tossing them around for approximately two minutes. They should begin to pop open.
  3. Include your base liquidlike wine or broth , and cook them for a while until they’re fully released.
  4. Serve them immediately when they’re still hotand freshly cooked. You can garnish them with flavors that complement it such as lemon or Dill.

Similar Questions

After having discussed the different characteristics of green and black mussels, we’ll look at some of the concerns we believe you’ve been thinking about when going through this piece!

Do you have to eat raw mussels?

You are able to consume mussels uncooked but mussels must be prepared properly prior to eating and preferably marinated in an acid marinade.

The acidity assists in curing the meat of the mussel by cooking it while making it safe to eat. It is not possible to consume mussels without this step, or cooked to perfection in any other manner.

Are mussels a danger to eat?

They are usually safe for consumption However, there are some risks to be aware of when eating or harvesting fresh mussels in certain regions.

First of all it is the high chance of red tide occurring in certain areas in the world. It is an natural phenomenon in which harmful algal blooms appear on the ocean’s surface. The result is a contamination of the water and the mussels that live in them.

Second, they grow in a single location all through their lives, making them vulnerable to the toxins and harmful bacteria within the vicinity.

Be sure to purchase mussels from an established fishmonger.

Are mussels safe?

Mussels are fantastic sources of protein as well as omega-3 fats! They also have a huge quantity of folate, zinc as well as iron, iodine as well as selenium.

You must definitely think about including more of them in your diet!


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