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Sunday, August 29, 1999 Published at 11:52 GMT 12:52 UK


UK: Wales

Festival draws restaurateurs

Thousands of visitors enjoyed the taste of Bangor mussels

Thousands of restaurateurs and food lovers took part in the third annual Menai Strait Mussel Festival.

A crowd of 6,000 attended the event at Bangor, which was run by Myti Mussel.


BBC Wales's Gilbert John reports on the mussel festival
Organiser Val Mould built on the success of last year's event in Port Penrhyn.

She hopes to underline the fact that Welsh mussels are the best served up on restaurant tables.

The focal point of the festival was a celebration of the fine molluscs, with meals being prepared for 4,500 people.

Events during the day included a dredger ride to Beaumaris and the Myti Mussel Strong Man and Strong Woman contests.

The finale was the Ultimate Mud Race, a dash in old clothes ending in a mass mud fight.

Mussel tasting

The serious side of the festival is for people to savour the quality of the mussels.


BBC Wales's Sian Parry-Hughes talks to Richard Coates and Muir Peakin
Richard Coates, chief executive of Belgo's, Britain's largest restaurant chain specialising in mussels, is a fan of Welsh produce.


[ image: Val Mould, director of Myti Mussel]
Val Mould, director of Myti Mussel
Belgo's chefs have up to 50 dishes at any one time made from Bangor mussels.

"We go all around the world and if Welsh are better than Canadian, we will buy Welsh," said Mr Coates.

"Welsh mussels are very, very good."

Mrs Mould said the location for mussel production was ideal.

"We have wonderful waters for growing mussels that are happy," she said.

Belgo's buy 6,000 tonnes of Bangor mussels for their British restaurants in London, Bristol and Jersey, which have a Belgian theme.



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