The Poitou-Charentes French region boasts an abundance of water and thus its gastronomy offers excellent fish and seafood to delight your taste buds: oysters, mussels, clams, scallops and soft-shelled crabs, sole, turbot, eel, cuttlefish and carp, stuffed or cooked in wine sauces.
Around the coastal town of La Rochelle, the famous mouclade is a must-taste and a fine example of what the Poitou-Charentes gastronomy and food has on offer.
The Mouclade will make you love mussels even if you’re not really fond of them. Its sauce seems basic and easy to prepare but this traditional recipe is exactly the type of surprising dish you could underestimate and that finally result in fine tastes melting into your mouth.
The Mouclade is a regional Poitou-Charentes dish made with – of course – locally grown mussels. To make the Mouclade, mussels are cooked in white wine and then covered with a creamy sauce. Once the dish is ready mussels are served on the half-shell, topped with this outstanding though simple sauce.
Oysters and Fishes
A great variety of fish awaits you in the Poitou-Charentes region: halibut, dover sole, mullet, frog fish, skate, sea bream, sea-bass, scallops, clams and oysters, the latter being ideally from Marennes-Oleron, a harbour located next to the famous Oléron island.
These oysters are the only oysters produced in France to have received the distinctive 'Red Label' for their quality and taste. This proves the quality of the Poitou-Charentes gastronomy. With such natural resources we can say that this region of France has been 'blessed by God' at this level.
The fish can be bought fresh on daily markets in the towns or villages of the region and then prepared at home. Alternatively you can relish fish dishes in a nice restaurant with outstanding views over the sea on a sunny day (since this region is the second sunniest region in France, it will not be difficult!).