France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Moules Frites in Brittany, France
Steamed mussels served with a plate of hot, crisp french-fried potatoes—delicious!





With its long coastline, Brittany has a history of fishing, and its cuisine often features seafood.

Perhaps most common on restaurant menus is "Moules Frites." Abbreviated this way, some people assume it's fried mussels. In fact, the name is shorthand for "Moules Marinières avec Pommes de Terre Frites." Marinières refers to the sea and does not mean marinated, another common confusion. The moules are lightly steamed in a broth of white wine, garlic, shallots and/or onions, and fresh herbs.

You'll get a large pot of moules and a big plate of french fries (chips). It's all finger food, so just dive in. The easiest way to eat a mussel is to break off the empty half of the shell and use your teeth to scoop the meat out of the other half. The more mannered can manipulate the mussel out with a fork. The top of the pot in which your moules are served becomes your empty-shell dish.

Frites, France
Frites to go with them!

A glass of chilled, crisp white wine goes very well with this meal. In Brittany it will often be a Muscadet.

Mussels are also popular to the south in Poitou-Charentes, and to the east in Normandy, with many coming from the Bay of Mont-St-Michel.

Moules Frites is a delicious meal, and to top it off it's usually quite inexpensive. We enjoyed complete dinners (including a first course and a dessert/sweet) for 14 to 18.

Food & Drink in Brittany

Seafood in Brittany

Brittany Cider

Brittany Crêpes

Food & Drink in Normandy

About Brittany

About France


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Moules Marinières, France

Above, A pot of delicious Moules Marinières.


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