A fine, firm flesh, an attractive black shell with blue highlights, these are the features that make the Breton lobster unique. Sometimes called the ‘petit bleu’, it is known for its extremely fine taste. Breton chefs definitely wouldn’t argue with that!
Where are lobsters caught?
Lobsters live among the rocks at the bottom of the sea, sometimes quite close to the coast. They are caught using lobster pots. Some brave souls catch them by beach fishing using a gaff, hook or harpoon, when there’s a particularly high tide and lobsters hide in crevices.
When can you eat them?
You can eat Breton lobster all year round, but watch out for the price! The high season runs from April to August, when you can buy lobster for less than €30 per kilo on market stalls or at the fishmongers.
How are they prepared?
The most difficult thing to get right when preparing lobster is the cooking phase. Ask the fishmonger to tie up the claws and then ‘put it to sleep’ by leaving it in the freezer for 30 minutes. You can then quite happily either plunge it into boiling water or cut it in two lengthways. It is low in calories and an excellent source of protein. It can be cooked in lots of different ways: grilled in a sauce, flambéed with Cognac, in a risotto, soufflé, salad etc.
Sample the Breton lobster maki at Otonali in Saint-Malo, the new address of the Breizh Café.
Because his tastes are for simple, fresh food, Julien Corderoch serves lobster straight from the sea in Groix in his Restaurant Louise in Lorient.
Where can you buy lobster at source?
From the line fishermen on the île vierge in Plouguerneau, where Manu fishes and Armelle manages the boat; you can have Breton lobster delivered to your door or you can collect it straight from the fishermen when the boat returns.
The top-of-the-range traditional fish canning factory, Groix et Nature, organises guided tours and tastings throughout the year. This gives you the chance to learn about bisque, lobster confit au Kari Gosse, lobster oil and oil pearls.