Les moules de Bouchot, a reputed pronounced flavour
The Bay of Aiguillon is renowned for shellfish farming but owes its reputation to Bouchot mussels (farmed on oak pilings planted at sea). Dating back to the 13th century, these pilings are said to be the oldest means of farming mussels in the world. These small yet generously proportioned mussels, are an attractive yellow colour, with a dark black and relatively hard shell, known for their pronounced flavour.
The Vendée offers many ways to enjoy this exceptional shellfish. But the emphasis is always on simplicity, due to its excellent quality. And since 2013 is the first French seafood to benefit from the STG (Traditional speciality Guaranteed) label.
Mytiliculture, the mussel farming activity
Mussel farming of the famous "moules de Bouchot", is an important activity in the Bay of l’Aiguillon. The mixture of the fresh waters from the Marais poitevin with those of the estuary make this mussel production sites a unique region, renowned throughout the country. These exceptional mussels were the first French seafood to benefit from the STG label (Traditional speciality Guaranteed), obtained in 2013. The “Bouchot” mussel are grown using an intertidal technique, feeding off the plankton at high tide and then basking in the sun at low tide.
Did you know?
The “Bouchot” mussels are an integral part of the Bay de l’ Aiguillon’s landscape. So, don't be surprised to see wooden poles sticking out of the water at low tide! The mussels are discreetly growing there!
Try the mussels with simple recipes: an exceptional taste!
Les moules de Bouchot are small in size but very plump, a beautiful yellow colour with a black and fairly hard shell. They have a pronounced iodine flavour. There are different ways of cooking mussels, but once again simplicity is the best option, as the quality of the mussel is sufficient in itself. They are found cooked with fresh cream, white wine, parsley or accompanied by chips. Or just simply raw as part of a sea food platter. Many local restaurants serve this speciality as part of their menu.
A “GOOD” tip on where to appreciate mussels and sea food
Restaurant Julie dans la cuisine (literally “Julie is in the kitchen”)
And yes, Julie is really in the kitchen and offers numerous dishes made with seasonal nearby products. Naturally, mussels are on the menu, delivered by her family during the season.