RGS students flex their mussels in the classroom

RIPON Grammar School students enjoyed a taste of the sea after being given the chance to prepare, cook and eat fresh mussels by the Food Teachers’ Centre Fish Hero programme.

The Fish Heroes campaign aims to ensure every child gets a chance to prepare, cook and eat fresh fish before they leave school.

More than 32 students studying Food and Nutrition at GCSE spent the day preparing and tasting fresh Cornish mussels. They also studied how mussels are rope-grown, harvested, processed and how they are a sustainable, seasonal and nutritious food.

Teacher Louise Solden said: “This has been a fantastic opportunity for students, enhancing their GCSE learning and enabling many of them to eat mussels which they have freshly prepared, for the very first time.”

Some of the impressive dishes created in the classroom included Thai Style Mussel Broth, Tagliatelle Mussels and Jamie Oliver’s Angry Mussels, which includes chilli, garlic, tomatoes and fresh rosemary.

The students were among around 8,000 across 200 schools throughout the country cooking and tasting a total of 200 tonnes of British mussels, donated by Offshore Shellfish.

The company’s head of sales Sarah Holmyard said: “We are delighted to support the Fish in School Heroes programme. It is so important for children to have access to foods they may not otherwise try and be the next generation of seafood enthusiasts.”

Simon Gray of the Food Teachers Centre was overwhelmed with the positive response: “Mussels are one of the most under-utilised shellfish in this country, so we are getting young people to try them in the safe, positive environment of their food and nutrition lessons. This would not have been possible without our amazing industry partners.”