What better way to mark the end of the scallop-fishing season than by holding a weekend-long festival in honour of the popular seafood? That’s what’s happening in Brittany’s Côte d’Armor today.
Three fishing ports on Saint-Brieuc Bay – Erquy, Loguivy-de-la-Mer and Saint-Quay-Portrieux – take turns to host the annual Fête de la Coquille Saint-Jacques.
This year it’s the turn of Erquy.
There are many things to tempt scallop-lovers during the three-day celebrations. They can, for instance, take part in fishing trips – following trawlers out to sea to watch as they dredge for the very last scallops of the season.
Yesterday, a parade passed through the streets. Later, street entertainment kept the fun atmosphere going until Breton pop star Nolwenn Leroy took to the stage in the evening.
Top chefs from the region demonstrated their favourite recipes and, of course, the local restaurants have put on special menus for the weekend as part of the festivities.
What I hadn’t realised is that, like mussels, scallops can only be harvested at certain times of the year. In the case of scallops, it’s October to April. Even then, catches are limited, to preserve stocks. Fishermen may only trawl for scallops twice a week, for 45 minutes at a time.
For fans of this exquisite dish, this festival is a must-visit.