In Ancona, the wild mussel (Slow Food Presidium) or Mytilus galloprovincialis lives among the underwater rocks of the Conero riviera.
The presence of the mussels in these seas is attested since the beginning of the 20th century; but the harvest was strictly limited to those colonies of mussels along the cliffs of Trave and a few other rock pools between Pietralacroce and Sirolo. Until the end of the Second World War they were harvested by rowing boats (batana), creating some extra income for the farmers of Poggio, Varano, Massignano, Pietralacroce and Sirolo, as well as for the workers of the port of Ancona.
The tools required to detach the mussels from the rocks were similar to pitchforks, and not particularly damaging: what was damaging, however, was the adoption over time of the moscioliniera, a sort of toothed iron pole used to scrape the rocks.
The fishers eat the mussels fresh off the boat, with their fragrant aroma of algae and the sea, opened and grilled without any condiment, or else with a marinara sauce, where they’re opened in a pan with garlic, parsley, oil and pepper.
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