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Entre Terre et Mer... Pays Gourmand
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So seafood

©www.calvados-tourisme.comWith over 300 miles of coastline, Lower Normandy is undoubtedly a maritime region. Fishing is part of Normandy life.

Normandy's production ranks in 3rd position among all French regions. The quality of Normandy's seafood is widely reputed, in particular thanks to the "huître de Normandie" (Normandy oyster) controlled label of origin and the Red Label awarded in 2002 for the "coquille Saint-Jacques de Normandie "(Normandy king scallop).

 

Le Bison Futé de Grandcamp ©isignygrandcampintercom

Grandcamp-Maisy is one of the largest ports on the Normandy coast, with no less than 45 fishing boats. Our fishermen bring home a variety of different species, including sole, plaice, pollack... but Grandcamp-Maisy's star is unquestionably the king scallop! In this coastal village alone, some 1,000 to 1,400 tonnes are unloaded yearly! And every year, scallops are honoured at the "Fête de la Coquille" (Scallop fair), held the first weekend after the fishing season opens in the Bay of Seine (in December).

The Grandcamp-Maisy fleet equally comprises boats under 26 feet for dragging fishing nets (trawlers) or for placing lobster pots, and larger vessels measuring up to 52 feet. The latter are needed to fish scallops. They are sufficiently powerful to drag a metal net along the sea bed and to unearth the shellfish that are lodged in the sediment. This technique is referred to as "dredging".

©isignygrandcampintercom©www.calvados-tourisme.com

Bay of Seine scallops are large and plump, offering an excellent shell/flesh ratio. They measure at least 4 inches and, more often than not, 5.5 inches or more. They have a generous coral (roe) and their white flesh caramelises slightly upon cooking. 

 

halle aux poissons de Grandcamp ©isignygrandcampintercomA description sure to tantalise your taste buds! To enjoy quality scallops (Pecten Maximus), just take a stroll through Grandcamp-Maisy or Isigny-sur-Mer or call in at one of the many local restaurants where scallops are cooked according to a variety of recipes (they are, of course, scarcer over the period when fishing is prohibited, from mid May to mid September).

And if you'd like to test your own culinary skills, you are sure to find scallops and many other varieties of shellfish and fish (according to season) every morning at the Grandcamp-Maisy fish market where the fishermen's wives are delighted to offer you their best recipes. You can also revel in a fine choice of shellfish at Isigny-sur-Mer's specialist store, "Caïeu d'Isigny"!