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The sea deeply rooted into the islander's food culture

Les betchets

Seamen of the island brought back from Bordeaux, rare products such as dried prunes, cinnamon and rum. Thus old recipes have this exotic touch. Dried prune tart is a must-eat on the island, and brings a sparkle of sunshine to Sunday desserts. It's also the perfect dessert made on special occasions like marriages. Each special day has its special sweet. Easter, one can taste a custard pie named fion, Mardi Gras, nibble on a piece of cake "merice". Betchet, a type of biscuit, can be eaten all year round.  

Gourmets and goodfood lovers expect to indulge in plenty of seafood. Fish, shellfish, crustacean with such diversity is an opportunity for new recipes. For example, Eugène Ravalais invented smoked tuna in the 1950's. Canneries and delicatessen still smoke their tuna and elaborate different types of tunafish patés and rillettes. If many new products can be seen in their shops, they're widely inspired by traditional recipes : Pudding, tuna and dried prune patés, smoked swordfish, fishsoup.. Women of the island, being great cooks, have transmitted their culinary savoir faire. A must, patagos, delicious white shells bathing in a cream and garlic sauce. Since 2011, two fishing boats are again allowed to fish these small and delicat shells.  

Recipe ideas

Spidercrab salad

This salad used to be on the menu of all islander marriages. It was the first dish of a long list of dishes.
Spider crab, hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, salad, chopped parsley, shallots, oil, vinegar.
Bring a large pot of well-salted and spiced water to a boil and cook the crab for 20 minutes. Pick through meat, discarding any remaining bits of shell. Put meat in oil for about 2 hours. Squeeze out oil. Add vinegar, shallots and chopped parsley. Put meat on large leaf of salad with the eggs and tomatoes. 


Dried-prune white boudin

Many islander recipes use dried prunes. Here, the cook is looking for a special "sweet and salty taste". 500 gr of pork meat, 200 gr of veal meat, 500 gr of dried prunes, 3 eggs, 1/2 liter of milk, cream, 1 large onion, salt and pepper, parsley, chard leaves, lace or caul fat, cinnamon.   

Cook gently the onion with the oil until soft. Boil chard leaves and chop them with the meat. Mix all the ingredients. Fill in caul. Put the boudin in a buttered dish and bake oven for 2 hours. Eat cold.   

Fricot en fou

It's a traditional Sunday meal. It used to be prepared on Saturday. It was then baked in the baker's oven during the night and taken back home after church on Sunday.  

Pork knuckle (or trotters and ears), onions, carrots, potatoes, bouquet garni, salt, pepper,  leaks (optional). 

Cut onions, put them in the bottom of a large cooking pot. Add meat, cut carrots and potatoes, salt, pepper and bouquet garni. Cover with water, and bake for at least 14 hours. Control baking and add water if needed. 

Dried-Prune Tart

Before the parents of the newly wed used to offer a tart to all the people (friends or family...) who could not be invited to the marriage of their children.   

The day before preparing your tart, put 500 gr of dried prunes and cinnamon in water. Cook the day after. Stone the prunes and add 400 gr of sugar, pour rum over the prunes and sugar. Mince into a jam-like texture. Roll out the dough into a thin sheet. Fold  in three. On each fold, put a piece of salted butter. Turn the dough, and fold three times again, keep putting butter on each fold. The amount of butter used: 250 gr. Divide the dough into four equal parts. Roll out one part of dough and put it on a plate. Fold edge of dough, turning it around the plate. Fill the tart with the dried-prune jam. Do the same with the 3 other parts of dough. Put dough strips on the jam. Brown the dough with egg yolk. Bake in a hot oven at least 30 minutes.