Brittany is an astonishing gourmand French region, which offers some unique and tasty local fresh seafood specialties, crispy and buttery pastries and even very strong drinks. I already presented you some Breton specialties such as buckwheat pancakes (“galettes”), an incredible butter cake – Kouign-Amman and chouchen, an alcoholic drink made with honey, but this time let me introduce you the cotriade - a fish specialty from the south of Brittany.
The Cotriade is fish soup, a popular dish made with local species of fish, something like a traditional bouillabaisse from Marseille. This real specialty of the region around the city of Lorient is made with different kinds of fish and potatoes. The longer the list of fish, the better the cotriade. A very important thing about preparing this soup is the order of introduction of the different spices of fish during the cooking so that all the fish would be cooked equally. The cotriade is a basic and simple dish, that was an everyday meal for sailors and their families, but today, it is much more elaborated. The crustaceans, vegetables and herbs are added to the traditional recipe and made this dish even more delicious.
The most perfect moment to taste the cotriade is during the Inter-Celtic Festival. This annual festival, dedicated to the cultural traditions of the Celtic nations and which celebrates Celtic culture, takes place every August in the city of Lorient and always begins with a traditional Breton seafood supper. This supper takes place in the city’s harbor, and some 400 kg of fish, 500 kg of potatoes and 700 liters of stock are used for the preparation of the cotriade! A traditional way to eat this soup is first to drink the stock and then to eat the fish. The cotriade is served with potatoes boiled in water and drizzled with oil and vinegar. And let me give you a little advice: dry white wine is the drink that blends marvelously with this soup.
If you can't make to the Inter-Celtic festival, don't worry. The cotriade - fish specialty from the south of Brittany is a dish you can eat at any season of the year, and you can find it on the menu in many restaurants in Brittany. The "Chaumine" is a restaurant situated in Quiberon, a seaside resort. Here, you can savour the delicious cotriade in the shade of the centenary olive tree. This place is only open from March to November. Another place where you can enjoy this traditional dish is “Entre terre et mer”, a restaurant situated in the city of Lorient.
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