© Simon Bourcier
King scallops The treasure of Saint-Brieuc Bay

King scallops

Very light, full of flavour and a rich source of omega 3 and minerals, king scallops (or ‘Coquilles Saint-Jacques’ – not to be confused with the smaller queen scallops) have a subtle flavour and an incomparable taste.

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What’s the best time to enjoy them?

The scallop season runs from 1 October to 15 May. The season is strictly regulated. Catching scallops smaller than 11 cm is not allowed. It’s no good looking for coral in scallops from Saint-Brieuc bay; there isn’t any!

How are they prepared?

As a carpaccio, baked in an earthenware dish or simply grilled as a snack: king scallops can be eaten raw or cooked. The smokehouse, the Fumoir de Saint-Cast, serves scallops lightly smoked. They’re delicious!

Some top restaurants for scallops

  • In Saint-Brieuc, the chef Mathieu Aumont at the Aux Pesked restaurant has a wonderful recipe for king scallops served in their shells with salted butter, aromatic organic herbs and French caviar.
  • At Chez Brume in Rennes, the menu offers seasonal fish and the day’s catch. So scallops are served from October to April.

The Coquille Saint-Jacques Festival

Every year in April, the towns of Erquy, Paimpol and Saint-Quay-Portrieux take it in turns to celebrate king scallops in a major two-day festival. The programme includes sea trips, street entertainments, processions by the Brotherhood of the Coquille Saint-Jacques and – naturally – tastings.

Did you know ?

King scallops became the symbol of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, which in French is ‘Saint Jacques de Compostelle’. Pilgrims collected them on the beaches of Galicia and proudly brought them home as proof of their journey.

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