The Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group (SSMG) scooped the Aquaculture Seafood Product of the Year Award at last night’s (11 June) Scottish Marine Aquaculture Awards.

SSMG won the prestigious award for its new range of mussel ready meals developed for Lidl - Deluxe Scottish Mussels in Tomato & Chorizo Sauce, Scottish Cooked Mussels in Black Bean Sauce and Scottish Cooked Mussel & Clams in Thai Sauce.

All three products have enjoyed strong consumer demand and were developed to coincide with ‘themed’ sales periods for Lidl. The award judges were impressed by the imagination and skill used in developing the product range.

The Scottish Marine Aquaculture Awards celebrate the achievements and successes of an industry that is vitally important to Scotland and its rural communities.

Stephen Cameron, managing director of SSMG, said: “We are delighted that our innovation in new product development has been recognised in this way. This award is testament to the hard work of all our employees and underlines the growing importance of the Scottish farmed shellfish sector as a provider of sustainable, nutritious and tasty food.”

Last night’s Awards ceremony and dinner took place at Prestonfield House in Edinburgh.

 

The Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group (SSMG) has been shortlisted in two different categories at the forthcoming Scottish Marine Aquaculture Awards in recognition of its work in environmental stewardship and product innovation.

The awards celebrate the achievements and successes of an industry that is vitally important to Scotland and its rural communities. SSMG is finalist in the Aquaculture Seafood Product of the Year and Stewardship Award categories.

Judges shortlisted SSMG in the Aquaculture Seafood Product of the Year category for its new range of mussel ready meals developed for Lidl. The products, which have all enjoyed strong consumer demand, are Deluxe Scottish Mussels in Tomato & Chorizo Sauce, Scottish Cooked Mussels in Black Bean Sauce and Scottish Cooked Mussel & Clams in Thai Sauce.

In the Stewardship category, SSMG has been put on the shortlist for its pioneering work in aquaculture certification (both Friend of the Sea and Marine Stewardship Council) and ongoing work in enhancing and developing its independently assessed environmental credentials.

Stephen Cameron, managing director of SSMG, said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for these two awards. Innovation is at the very heart of our business and being a finalist in these two categories is recognition of this.”

The Awards Ceremony and Dinner takes place at Prestonfield House in Edinburgh on 11 June.

There is no doubting that delicious Scottish mussels and oysters really are the ‘food of love’!

As well as being associated inextricably with romance, oysters and mussels are also incredibly good for you, being rich in minerals and vitamins, and a good source Omega-3, which helps protect the heart.  And what can be more romantic than sharing a dish of mussels or oysters?

Carefully cultivated in the pristine seas off the West coast of Scotland and Shetland, our freshly harvested shellfish are succulent and sweet-tasting.

Mussels are so quick and easy to cook, and oysters are pretty versatile too! Eating oysters ‘au naturel’ is a lot like wine tasting and experts recommend that you chew your oyster a little bit, and aerate (take a little air in) to allow the flavours to cross the palate and develop fully.

Oysters also taste great when lightly cooked, so why not try this super recipe?

Grilled Garlic Oysters
Serves 2

A dozen oysters
4oz breadcrumbs
For the garlic butter (makes more than you need, but it is always handy to have spare in the fridge or freezer):
225g unsalted butter, softened
6 garlic cloves, crushed
2tbsp finely chopped spring onion
Juice of one lemon

To make the garlic butter, mix all the ingredients with a fork. Form into a sausage shape and slice when needed. It can then be wrapped in cling film and stored in the fridge or freezer.

Shuck (open) the oyster by running a sharp knife along the inside of the top shell, cutting the muscle that attaches the oyster to the shell. Then slide the knife under the oyster meat to loosen it in the shell. Pour off excess water and place a little garlic butter on top. Cover with bread crumbs and put under a hot grill until the bread crumbs are golden and crispy. Enjoy!

Scottish rope grown mussels produced by Inverlussa Shellfish on the Isle of Mull will take a starring role on BBC TV’s James Martin Home Comforts programme.

A TV crew from the programme visited Inverlussa last summer and saw at first-hand how the mussels are grown and cultivated.  Shown around the farm on Loch Spelve by Inverlussa director Douglas Wilson and manager Cameron Maclean, the environmentally friendly manner of the cultivation of Scottish mussels was explained and their excellent taste and nutritional properties highlighted.

The mussels are grown on ropes suspended from buoys in the sea and feed naturally off plankton in the rich tidal flows to ensure the growth of succulent and sweet tasting shellfish. Inverlussa is a member of the Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group, a co-operative of mussel and oyster farmers based on the Scottish west coast and Shetland.

Following the tour, the Inverlussa team served a tasty meal of sweet and sour mussels cooked up by nine-year-old Charlie Knight, the grandson of Douglas Wilson.

Douglas said: “It was great to welcome the Home Comforts team to Inverlussa and for us to be able to show how we grow our quality mussels. They really are the most superb tasting shellfish and their popularity with consumers is growing all the time.”

Nicola Kingscote, Series Producer, said:We were thrilled to film on the Isle of Mull with a local firm catching such wonderful mussels.  We were also treated to a special cook up outside by the loch, with a tasty mussel recipe courtesy of nine year old Charlie Knight. Some of the most beautiful shots and flavours of the series were captured on Loch Spelve in the company of Cameron and Douglas and their families.”

The programme James Martin: Home Comforts, under the theme Friday Night Suppers, will be aired on BBC1 at 15.45 on Friday 23 January.