While we were on our road tripping holiday in New Zealand, on our way to Picton where the ferry would take us from the South to the North Island, we past a sign that told us that we are driving into the green mussels capital of the world. And it was almost lunchtime. This just had to be a clear sign for us to stop here!
I did a Google search and it did not take long to convince ourselves that the Mussels Pot was the place to go. Good reviews and even a kids menu for the less adventurous.
I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with mussels. There is always this little voice inside of me reminding me what exactly I am eating and that is not the most appealing thought. On the other hand, I really like eating them. Eating out of a big pan, with your fingers and using a shell as cutlery. Some fries or bread on the side make it a perfect experience.
The pot looks a bit small on the picture, but the green shell mussels are between 7 and 10 cm big and are a lot bigger than the ones we know from Europe. These mussels themselves are gigantic and are a true mouthful. So when I took my first bite, I felt the weird texture and there were some very chewy parts, that made the little voice become very loud. It was almost strong enough for me to want to spit it out again. It was hard to just swallow and a lot of chewing was necessary.
After a couple mussels I was able to turn off that little voice in my head reminding me what exactly I am eating and started to really enjoy them.
And then my pot was empty way too quickly. So if you ever drive through Havelock, make sure you do it around lunch or dinner time!
Havelock Travel Tip
If you want to make it even better, do it on a day before Tuesday, Thursday or Friday and stay overnight so you can go on a journey on a the Pelorus mail boat. You can join the skipper of a real mail boat, who delivers the mail to the people living around the sound. A great opportunity to see what life is like and how remote it is for some people in New Zealand. It is a whole day activity, free for children and it does not sound too commercial yet. We missed out on this one, but it would definitely be an activity that we would have liked to have done had we known about it.