France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Seafood in Normandy, France
A long coastline means lots of seafood in Normandy.




When famous chef Julia Child arrived in France for the first time in 1948 she was by her own admission a mediocre cook and knew little about France. Traveling from Le Havre to Paris with her husband, Paul Child, they stopped for lunch in Rouen, the historic capital of Normandy (map). Tasting sole meunière for the first time at La Couronne, a Rouen restaurant that dates from 1345, Julia began her lifelong love affair with French cooking. That meal was one of many she would enjoy in Normandy and elsewhere in France.

You'll find sole meunière on menus in Normandy, particularly in seaside towns such as Fécamp or Calais. Look for the arrivage du jour, indicating the fish that arrived that day.

Be aware that often in France you will need to bone your fish. It's not difficult, but you do have to do it carefully.

Another popular dish in Normandy is Moules Frites, or mussels served with French fries. Although you'll find a variety of preparations, I prefer the simple Moules Marinières. 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 fries. 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 (or a fork if you prefer) to scoop the meat out of the other side. The top of the pot in which your moules are served becomes a shell dish.

Many of the mussels come from the Mont St-Michel area, but with its long coastline, Normandy offers many opportunities to try delicious seafood. Bon appétit!

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Moules Frites in Dieppe, France

Above, A hearty serving of Moules Frites in Dieppe.

Below, Boning sole meunière in Fécamp, Normandy.


Boning fish, Fécamp, France

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