Place them in a saucepan with very little water, as their own liquor helps to boil them. As soon as the shells open take out the fish, and wash them in a small quantity of cold water (about a pint), with a lump of salt about the size of a halfpenny. Open them and take out the little crab if there is one, and cut out the hard byssus.
Stew them, and strain them; fry carrots, parsnips, parsley, basil, lemon, crumbs, a dozen almonds; moisten them with broth; strain and keep the broth for use.
Mussels may be served in the shells, after having been boiled, as many persons prefer to pick the fish out themselves, and eat them with cold butter.
The Neapolitans, as mentioned by Poli, eat mussels raw and fried, besides making patties and sauces of them.
A. hole is dug in the ground, in which large smooth stones are laid, and upon them a fire is kindled. When they are sufficiently heated, the ashes are cleared away, and shellfish are heaped upon the stones, and covered first with leaves or straw, and then with earth. The fish thus baked are exceedingly good and tender, and this mode of cooking them is very superior to any other, as they retain within the shell, all their own juiciness".* Meat dressed in the same manner is most delicious.
* 'The Lady's Companion'.
Lithodomus lithophagus, a Mediterranean species, which also belongs to the "Mytilidae," is generally eaten in Spain, and is called Datil de mar. It is also much esteemed as food on the eastern shores of the Adriatic, and the Italian names for it are Dattolo di pietra and Dattolo di mar.† Area Nog, Area barbata, and a species of Pectunlulus are eaten in Italy and Spain.