Gourmet Calvados

Scallops: the season is now!

Scallops, Normandy's flavoursome best

Gourmet fairs - tributes to country fare in Calvados

Normandy's ports honour the region's scallops.

At the end of the year, the people of Normandy, particularly proud of their country fare, organise a number of fairs and festivals to celebrate scallops.
They offer an excellent opportunity to buy top-quality scallops direct from local fishermen.

> 21st and 22nd of October 2017: the Scallop fair in Ouistreham

> 28th and 29th of October 2017: the Scallop fair in Villers-sur-Mer.

> 11TH and 12th of November 2017: "Le Goût du large" festival in Port-en-Bessin. Normandy's leading fishing port celebrates scallops and all other seafood and shellfish. The fair is one of the events not to be missed in Calvados.

>25th and 26th of Novembre 2017 : Scallop fair in Courseulles-sur-mer

> 2nd and 3rd of December 2017: Scallop fair in Grandcamp Maisy, fishermen proudly celebrate their skills.

>2nd and 3rd of December 2017: Trouville-sur-Mer celebrates the scallops, with demonstrations and sellings.

All gourmet fairs throughout Calvados ›

Scallops from Normandy awarded the Red Label quality guarantee

   Label scallops  © NFM

Normandy scallops, a gourmet delight not to be missed...

Did you know the majority of French scallops are caught off the Normandy coast?
10 to 15,000 tonnes of scallops are unloaded every year into Normandy's ports and harbours.

Port-en-Bessin, the largest port in Calvados, is home to the "goût du large "(a taste of the sea) festival every year. A fine tribute, not only to scallops, but to maritime culture in general.

Normandy's scallops have been awarded the Red Label, guaranteeing their excellent quality.

All you need to know about scallops and seafood via Normandie Fraîcheur Mer (in French) ›

All you ever wanted to know about scallops

Scallops with apple juice and cinnamon caramel © Normandie Fraîcheur Mer
Scallops with apple juice and cinnamon caramel © Normandie Fraîcheur Mer

The season, freshness, recipes... All the tips you need to choose and prepare the best scallops.

  • The season: Scallop fishing begins on the 1st of October in Normandy, to end in May. The best season to relish in top-quality scallops is from December to March.
  • Freshness: 

A truly fresh scallop is totally closed. All of these shellfish must be sold alive.
The best addresses to buy your scallops: at the fish market in Port-en-Bessin, Grandcamp-Maisy or Ouistreham - the best choice is always Red Label scallop!

  • Safe storage:

1 to 2 days in your refrigerator vegetable tray
3 months in the freezer, if you freeze your scallops whole
6 months in the freezer, if you freeze them shelled

Scallops often have pride of place in our festive menus.
To best appreciate their delicate flavour, try this recipe concocted by Marie-Christine, a fisherman's wife from Port-en-Bessin. Fisherman's pan-fry, a simple recipe that brings out the best in scallops.
A tip from a Norman: make sure you don't overcook your scallops!

A few scallop recipe ideas, made in Normandy:
> Scallops with apple juice and cinnamon caramel
> Scallops with braised vegetables
> Scallop salad with herby tagliatelle
> Normandy scallops with rougail chutney and mild garam massala
> Cream of fish and scallop soup

List of all recipes via Normandie Fraîcheur Mer (in French) > 

Our chef's portrait: Didier Robin -La Chenevière

Interview with Didier Robin, head chef at the La Chenevière gourmet restaurant and 4-star hotel in Port-en-Bessin.

  • Your experience:

I learned the ropes along with leading French chefs before becoming head chef at La Chenevière, a gourmet restaurant in Port-en-Bessin.

After my apprenticeship in Villedieu les Poêles, I spent just over a year in St Tropez to gain experience with the chef Christophe Leroy.
In Paris, I was chef de partie at the Maison Blanche (1 Michelin star) before heading for the kitchens of the Hôtel Saint James Albany, the Mariott Champs Elysées, then homewards to Normandy.
In Caen, I was sous-chef for Michel Bruneau at the La Bourride restaurant (2 Michelin stars).
I have been in Port-en-Bessin since 1999. Initially sous-chef, I am now delighted to occupy the position of head chef at the La Chenevière restaurant.

  • Your specialities:

Working with fresh produce, fish in particular, in all its shapes and forms
I like to create sweet and savoury, and slightly spicy dishes.
I don't really have any specific speciality for I enjoy diversifying my recipes.

  • Your cuisine:

My cuisine is light and diversified, whilst remaining based on tradition.

  • If you were one product from Normandy:

Milk - it is the base of so many things in cookery - it is a comprehensive product that contributes towards Normandy's finest cuisine.

  • Your favourite place in Normandy:

The Bessin area: Bayeux, its coast and inland landscapes, for it is an area that is steeped in "emotion".

  • Your tip for successfully preparing scallops, your supplier?

I buy my scallops direct at the harbour in Port-en-Bessin or Grandcamp-Maisy.
To cook a scallop to perfection, you must cook it quickly and delicately so that it remains tender. It should be handled as little as possible.

Further information on how to get to La Chenevière, where you are sure to relish in a delicious meal ›

Scallop in pictures 

Coquille Saint Jacques de Normandie
Pêche en mer à bord d'un chalutier en Normandie
Pêche en mer à bord d'un chalutier en Normandie
Marché aux poissons à Port-en-Bessin
festival goût du large Port-en-Bessin
festival goût du large Port-en-Bessin
Port en Bessin, plus grand port du Calvados
Port en Bessin, plus grand port du Calvados
Coquille Saint Jacques de normandie avec corail
Coquille Saint Jacques de normandie avec corail
Bateau de pêche dans le port de Grandcamp Maisy
Bateau de pêche dans le port de Grandcamp Maisy
Retour de pêche à Port-en-Bessin
Retour de pêche à Port-en-Bessin