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The Best of Brittany: Culinary Treasures from the Breton Coast

Monika Grabkowska

Crispy crêpes, ribbons of salted butter caramel, bubbling cider, and freshly caught seafood. You may have been delighted by all of these delectable ingredients in Paris but never known their origins. To track down their source you must travel to Brittany, the most Northwestern tip of France and home to these, and more, gastronomic treasures.

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In Search of the Perfect French Oyster: Les Huîtres de Cancale

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Kate Robinson – Oysters getting ready for market

On a clear day, the ghostly meringue-like swirl of Mont Saint Michel is just barely visible across the bay from Cancale. This plucky little seaside town has been famous for its oysters since the Roman occupation of Gaul, and continues to be a top destination for ostreaphiles the world over.

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Isabel Miller-Bottome

On a painfully bright day in July, I found myself sitting on a beach littered with shards of chipped and broken oyster shells, bleached white by the sun. Balanced on my knees was a plate of nine intact oysters, fresh from the Cancale bay, deeply cupped and glistening in their own liqueur. The oyster farmer who had sold them to me five minutes earlier had cracked each one open with barely a downward glance, as he stood talking to me in the shade of the little blue and white striped hut where creuses and plats sat in jumbles designated by size (the largest was surely only meant for cooking…). In exchange for the last three euros of vacation money that still jingled in my pocket, he presented me with a sturdy white plastic plate of oysters, a half a lemon and his condolences regarding my imminent return to Paris on the afternoon train.

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Kate Robinson – Oysters on the beach!

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