Whenever someone questions me about my food preferences, my standard line is, “Give me fish everyday and I am a happy girl.” Probably it’s to do with my Assamese roots, where fresh fish from the mighty Brahmaputra is like a daily habit, going into the making of various delicacies. So when it came to travelling to a seafood loving country such as France, I made it a point to munch on as much seafood as I could during my short trip to Paris, Bordeaux and Rennes.
It started with Sardines at a cafe in Paris. A French friend had told me once that although tinned sardines are not a craze in France, yet those who love fish are often found relishing a tin along with fresh bread and wine. David Lebovitz too had written about tinned sardines and how he discovered that canning foods often make them better. A label on his tin of favourite Rodel Sardines even advises one to wait up to 10 years before eating the preserved fish sitting in olive oil.
While in Bordeaux, sitting at a street side cafe, one of my favourites was Fish and Chips. Known more as a British speciality, its popularity is equally seen in France. Crispy batter-fried cod fish and potato fries along with a side of salad, and that’s a soulful meal.
Then for some decadence we tried the modern-style Four Cheese Baked Dish with Salmon. Sinfully rich, it took four of us to finish it without feeling guilty.
The region of Brittany is the seafood hub of France, being close to the sea. During our stay at Rennes, whereon we went to explore Mont Saint-Michel and Saint Malo, we were floored by the fresh seafood we tried, starting with the customary Oysters with Lime and Tabasco, Buttery Mussels with Hollandaise Sauce and Fries, and Pan-Seared Salmon in Brown Sauce.
With so many delectable preparations, we rarely missed red meat. So next time you visit France, don’t forget to fish. Bon Appetit!