Location: Baie de Saint-Brieuc, Bretagne, France. What are those little black lines? They’re moules! Mussels!
To be honest, I was not a fan of mussels before moving to France. I found the moules that landed on my plate back in the States to be too large and meaty, and the texture turned me off.
In France? These little morsels are small, packed full of sweet flavor, and a true delight to eat.
10% of the national production of bouchot mussels comes from the Bay of Saint-Brieuc. Certified Label Rouge since 2017, the bouchot mussels from the bay have a tender and tasty flesh.
In this video, you are looking at more than 13,000 stakes (bouchots) around which the mussels cling for 12 to 18 months. The harvest happens from the end of June to November. Keep an eye out for an exceptional time of the mussel season in France, generally around the end of July, for the AOC product Mont-Saint-Michel mussels. It is a very brief but delicious time of the year!
The bouchot mussels are small mollusks that can be recognized by their bluish-black shell and orange-yellow flesh. Low in calories and rich in iodine, mussels are ideal for filling up on protein, calcium, and iron. Many of the restaurants in Bretagne offer the three popular moules recipes: marinière (my favorite!), crème, or a curry sauce. Frites are served as a side dish.
Want to eat mussels like a local? Grab an empty shell and note that you can use it like a pincher. Next, choose a shell with a mussel inside and “pinch” out the meat. Finally, eat it directly from your pincher! Now you’re eating moules the Breton way. Want to take it to the next level? Drink the leftover sauce at the end of the meal.
I will share and repost an older story where I show you this technique. You can also find the video saved permanently in my highlights under the title “Ile de Brehat.” Just skip forward to about halfway through to the restaurant scene.
Bisous and big hugs from Bretagne,