Brittany Fishes and Seafood are some jewels of the French gastronomy and make this lovely, traditional region of France a favourite destination for both French and foreign tourists. Indeed Brittany offers plenty of delicious quality products from fresh fishes to typical seafood platters and ancient recipes of shellfishes like the Moules Marinières.
The traditional “seafood platter” is a common sight of French restaurants' menus. It consists in a huge ice-carpeted plateau filled with freshly caught oysters, clams, mussels, scallops, winkles, crab and prawns - and other seafood often depending on the deliveries. With its important coastline, Brittany is definitely a mecca for lovers of shellfishes, from the delicious oysters from Cancale to the fine scallops from Erquy.
Due to such popularity, many French restaurant owners and Chefs in Bretagne have signed a charter to guarantee the freshness and quality of their "authentic Breton platter of fresh seafood". Lobster is also an essential element of the Breton gastronomy but this fine shellfish is more commonly served in a creamy sauce or simply grilled.
Traditional Moules Marinières
This Breton genuine mussels recipe is one of the most popular shellfish dishes - that you can now easily find throughout France and even worldwide. The Moules Marinières recipe has been part of Brittany's gastronomy for many years and, as it is a good value and one of the easiest to prepare, this traditional tasty casserole is a perfect option for convivial family meals!
The reason why Breton Moules Marinières are so renowned is that this authentic seafood dish is made with cultivated mussels that grow directly on the seabed, on ropes or on stakes - the bouchots - in the Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel and in the mouth of the Vilaine river. Such mussels, typical of the Brittany region of France, are quite small, tasty and fleshy - perfect for the Moules Marinieres recipe!
To fully enjoy their flavour, shellfishes are cooked in French white wine with parlsey and schallots.
Breton Mariners traditionally serve them in pots or bowls, with a glass of Muscadet wine. Modern versions include cream and garlic and come with a side dish of French fries, especially in the typical French Brasseries.
Top Tip! Mussels are commonly bought by weight, but you have to make sure that the shells are fully closed. Then you may scrub well, scraping with a knife if necessary, and remove the beard. They can now complement any seafood recipe from Bretagne!
Seafood platters and Moules Marinieres are just some items from an evocative list of rich specialities from Brittany.
Another gem of the French gastronomy is the original fish soup or soupe de poissons. This fine and tasty soup is traditionally accompanied with a little pot of the garlicky saffron sauce known as rouille ("rust"), a mound of grated cheese, and a bowl of croutons.
For an even more authentic dining-experience in Brittany, do try the Cotriade, a fish stew traditionally made from conger and eel.