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Mussels, éclade... and the first mussel breeder

Mussels on a plank | Anthony45 / CC-BY-SA
Legend Speciality

What’s this?

This is a pretty old French recipe: mussels are just cooked on a couch of dry pine needles!

We can eat them hot, with bread, butter and a fresh white wine!

The little history

Mussels breeding dates back to the Middle-Ages, in Charente-Maritime! A creation of an Irish sailor, Patrick Walton...

He shipwrecked with his boat full of sheeps on a Charente beach, near Esnandes harbour, in 1235.

The crew died, Walton was the only survivor. He was alone with his sheeps... so our poor sailor decided to raise a temporary camp, on the beach.

He had to survive, he had to eat! He started to hunt sea birds: he caught them with nets in the water, tied to posts, just after dusk.

He called those nets allouret, from Celtic words allow ("night") and ret ("net").

He caught... mussels! They massed together in the net and developed very quickly.

10 years after his wreck, Patrick created the bouchot (from bout, "fence" and choat, "wood"). What is this?

Posts lines with a V shape, planted in low tide. He also created the poussepied, a kind of small barque with a flat bottom, so he could easily sail on the sea, at low tide.

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!