Taste of the sea
At the heart of the Granville-Chausey bay.
This region is known for the high quality of its fish and seafood. You might be able to eat these products everywhere in Europe, but they'll never taste the way they do here, freshly out the water and prepared by one of our expert chefs.
The blue lobster of Chausey
The Chausey Archipelago is a precious and fragile jewel of nature, teeming with marine life. Thanks to the combined efforts of the Conservatoire du Littoral (France's coastal conservation agency) and the local fishermen, these resources are continuously monitored and protected so as to stay intact for future generations. That's why, to this day, we can still eat the renowned blue lobster of Chausey, caught in its natural environment using lobster traps.
How is it served? Whether grilled or cooked in sauce, the main thing is not to alter its flavour too much; a simple homemade mayonnaise is enough to bring out the taste of the delicious Chausey blue lobster.
Granville Scallops (Coquille Saint-Jacques)
It's thanks to the purity of the seawater in Granville Bay that the scallops can thrive and reach full growth. This species of scallop, mostly found without coral, is prized by chefs for its delicate taste. It is fished by draw net only from October to May . Every year, the shellfish festival, "Toute La Mer Sur Un Plateau" (The Whole Sea on a Platter) marks the opening of the scallops season.
How is it served? : In a pan, as carpaccio, etc. Easy to cook, and all kinds of ways to do it. You can put it in fishcake, in a buckwheat pancake, on pizza... you name it!
The Whelk of Granville Bay
The fishermen of Granville have been fishing whelk by draw net since the end of the 19th century. Their ancestral knowledge, passed down through the generations, has been fine-tuned and adjusted so as to preserve resources and enable year-round fishing. These days, the Granville Bay Whelk represents 55% of France's total whelk production and is greatly prized for its high quality. This is soon to receive official recognition, obtaining a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) that classes this shellfish as a speciality particular to the region.
How are they served? Locals love to have it for aperitif with a dab of homemade mayonnaise and a glass of dry white wine or cider.
The Bouchot Mussel of Normandy
Small but very fleshy and tasty, this type of mussel is grown on posts known as "bouchots", that are intermittently covered by the sea as the tide comes in and out. The mussel cultivators' methods take advantage of the abundance of phytoplankton in the nutrient-rich seawater to nourish the mussels, while keeping them out of the mud and away from the little crabs sometimes live in it.
How are they served? There are lots of different ways to prepare mussels: marinière, with cream, with Camembert, with chorizo, and so on. Whatever the recipe, though, they're usually served up with good old homemade chips!
The Normandy Oyster
Simply a must for anyone who loves oysters! Our oyster farmers have a particularly cherishing way of cultivating these renowned oysters: here in Normandy, the bag in which the oysters grow is turned over at least once a week (in contrast to other regions in France, when it's only moved once a month). This allows the oysters to make the most of nutrient-rich seawater, here where the tidal range is the biggest in Europe.
How is it served? They can be prepared in the traditional way with lemon juice or vinegar and shallots, or oven-baked with a dash of cream, gratinated with cheese. Or you can stick them on the barbecue!
The other shellfish: clams, hard shell clams (quahaugs) and cockles
These bivalve molluscs that live under the sand are real culinary gems once they're purged and thrown on the pan. They're easy to find, as you walk along the foreshore at low tide, collecting them with your family or friends. However, do please respect the quotas and size regulations for each of the species you collect. It's always going to be easier just to order themat the restaurant. They can be found on every menu, as part of a seafood platter or in the starters.
How are they served? If you're fishing them yourself, purge them straightaway in order to avoid munching on crunchy sand. Once they're thoroughly cleaned, all you need to do is fry them in butter with some parsley... So tasty!
The fish: bream, pollack, bass, mackerel, dogfish...
The Bay of Granville is a crystal-pure basin where lots of different species of fish can thrive. Bream is the most popular among them, and local chefs know just what to do with it to whip up amazing taste sensations. With the fish market so close by, you can always find fresh fish in the specials of the day, from the daily catch landed at Granville harbour.
How are they served? Grilled, poached, in foil, in paella, "Choucroute de la Mer" (seafood with sauerkraut)...