Flexing their Mussels

Posted at 12:10 pm on 30th November, 2021

As a follow on to the ‘Fish Hero’s programme our year 10, Food and Nutrition students were given the opportunity to get to grips preparing and cooking with Cornwall’s’ finest live rope grown mussels. The mussels, donated from Offshore Shellfish and packed by Fowey Shellfish Company, organised through the Food Teachers Centre; were packed in ice and couriered directly to our door.

Our staff make it their missions to share their knowledge and skills as well as providing memorable experiences for our students to then use and share outside of the school community. This not only relates to practical preparation and cookery skills but also empowering all students to learn, understand and develop their understanding of the world in which they live and how living sustainably benefits both their health and wellbeing, as well as the health of our planet.

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Which is why the ’Fish Hero’ training programme, run by the Food Teachers Centre, was something Ms Atkinson, (Food and Nutrition teacher) was so passionate to be involved with. Our students learnt about how farmed mussels grow naturally on ropes suspended from buoys, anchored to the seabed; where they can thrive in naturally clean water, feeding on plankton. They were able to investigate the seasonality of the product based around the natural life cycle as well as considering how to prepare, wash and de-beard the mussels, prior to cooking.

For this practical lesson the students had a choice of recipes, prepared by Ms Atkinson which included Thai style mussels, with chips, spiced mussels with chorizo and apple juice, mussels’ pizza and the firm favourite Moules Marinara.

At FGS we actively encourage our students to prepare, cook and taste fish and shellfish both during food lessons at school and at home. Cooking and eating sustainably and responsibly forms part of our Health and Wellbeing offer, which supports our five curriculum pathways and vision of The Healthy Learning Trust.

Mrs Atkinson said, ‘Year 10 students have done really well to complete this variety of recipes, all happening in the one space, within their double practical lesson. They have shown a good work ethic and stayed on task to complete everything on time. It has been lovely to see the individual groups working together and sharing their cooking experiences. They even spurred each other on to try the cooked mussels straight out of the shells!’

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Year 10 students said:

‘I did try the mussels but they didn’t have a huge flavour, you could taste the lovely spicy sauce though.’

‘The mussels tasted ok, but I didn’t like the texture, but it wouldn’t put me off trying them again.’