Fruits de mer is the French term for seafood, and Brittany is renowned for producing the finest. Exciting trips show you how the watery farming works. The freshest fish and shellfish are commonly found across the region making the ports great, bustling places to visit.
When the "plateau de fruits de mer" (seafood platter) arrives on the table, it presents all the treasures of the sea for you to sample: crabs, clams, oysters, winkles, whelks, prawns, langoustines, scallops, cockles... A crusty loaf, a dab of salted butter, a dollop of mayonnaise and away you go! And there’s no doubt that it’s a great source of vitamins and minerals: a concentration of taste and energy that's not to be missed!
To accompany such excellent ingredients, many of Brittany’s chefs also have meltingly wonderful sea views to offer you at their restaurants.
Scallop : Queen of the seas
Saint-Quay-Portrieux, Loguivy-de-la-Mer and Erquy are all known for their scallops.
Raw, snacked, poached, grilled, lined... Enjoy the many ways scallops can reveal their delicious flavors, especially in the expert hands of the region’s Chefs!
Some marry it with sea urchins tongues, like Thierry Seychelles in the Roscanvec in Vannes, some enclose it in a jar with almonds and mushrooms, like Laurent Bacquer de L'Atelier des Chefs in Carhaix, some cook it with citrus and asparagus in the way of Pierre Legrand, head of the Aozen in Rennes. Rightly considering the Saint-Jacques as a flagship product of Breton gastronomy, David Etcheverry at Le Saison in Rennes dedicates specific cooking classes to the product.
Cancale : The World’s your oyster
Mention Cancale to a Frenchman or a foodie and the instant response will be ‘oysters’; the magnificent molluscs have been cultivated in this attractive fishing village for hundreds of years. There are also breathtaking views over the Baie de St Michel and scenic walks around the coast.
There are two kinds of oysters grown in France: the indigenous flat oyster and the imported hollow oyster. The shellfish are grown by individual farmers in a park, whose beds can be seen at low tide; more than 15,000 tons are produced each year.
Cancale has a wide range of restaurants where you can sample the ‘king of shellfish’ and the best ones are situated around the port, La Houle; if you’re short on time or cash, buy a tray from a stallholder to take away. Keen cooks should book a cookery lesson at the culinary school of Olivier Roellinger, the now-retired three-star Michelin chef, where you’ll learn how to turn humble seafood into a gastronomic feast.