France is world renowned for its cuisine, its varied cuisine from north to south, west to east. It is, therefore, only right that I share some aspects of France’s culinary traditions.
Western France, particularly Normandy, Brittany and the other regions along the Atlantic seaboard, have numerous fishing villages that provide the nation with daily fresh fish. A popular choice amongst the French and tourists alike is a plateaux de fruits de mer, a seafood platter (one is photographed above). These range from simple but no less enjoyable platters of a range of shellfish and crustaceans to quite elaborate dishes that come in two tiers of iced trays with something of almost everything.
Most seafood platters contain a variety of the following, which obviously varies according to availability and season: oysters (l’huÃ®tres), mussles (la moule), shrimps (la crevette), prawns (la gambas), crab (le crabe), crayfish (la langoustine), lobster (le homard), periwinkles (le bigorneau) and welks (le bulot). Platters also vary in composition and then price: a cheaper platter will contain most of the above but without a crab or lobster, these are included on more expensive platters. The seafood is pre-cooked and served cold, so they more often than not come on a bed of ice.
Suzyesue enjoying a seafood platter on the Ile de RÃ©.
So, if you fancy relaxing in a small and quiet seaside fishing village enjoying seafood served straight from the local fishermen, you really should be thinking about a visit to western France. France is certainly one of the best places to visit in Europe for fresh seafood in tranquil coastal villages.