Concarneau, France

Arriving at Quai Carnot in Centre Ville (the city center) in Concarneau, France

Arriving at Quai Carnot in Centre Ville (the city center) in Concarneau, France

Concarneau, France’s inseparable link to the fishing industry is acknowledged each year during the lively “Fete des Filet Bleu” (Festival of the Blue Nets).  For centuries, the town’s fleet has ventured out to sea to bring home a bountiful (and lucrative) catch of 100,000 tons or so of tuna.  With the decline of the importance of fishing to the town, many former canneries have been transformed into new uses.

Rare Homard Bleu des Glenan (blue NorthEast Atlantic lobsters) at the local market's Poissonnier de Bretagne (Brittany fishmonger), Concarneau, France

Rare Homard Bleu des Glenan (blue NorthEast Atlantic lobsters) at the local market’s Poissonnier de Bretagne (Brittany fishmonger), Concarneau, France

At the local indoor market by the Port in Centre Ville (City Center), we found a tank of rare Homard Bleu des Glenan (blue NorthEast Atlantic lobsters) at the Poissonnier de Bretagne’s (Brittany fishmonger) stall.  The lobsters were selling for 33.90 Euros per kilogram (US$16.95 per pound) which is considerably more than Maine lobsters sell for locally in Maine (USA).  However, they are quite delicious — see our next blog covering our luncheon at L’Amiral Restaurant.

The local seafood specialty, Confit de St. Jacques (scallop rillettes) at the local market in Concarneau, France

The local seafood specialty, Confit de St. Jacques (scallop rillettes) at the local market in Concarneau, France

Also at the market we bought several cans of the local seafood specialty that dates back to the 19th century, confit de St. Jacques (scallop rillettes).  The traditional recipe is unchanged and calls for scallops to be cooked in butter, stored in crockery for several weeks (confit) and then cooked in butter and onions before canning.

Quai Carnot in Centre Ville (City Center) and the edge of Ville Close (Walled City), 14th century, Concarneau, France

Quai Carnot in Centre Ville (City Center) and the edge of Ville Close (Walled City), 14th century, Concarneau, France

Entrance to Ville Close (Walled City), 14th century, Concarneau, France

Entrance to Ville Close (Walled City), 14th century, Concarneau, France

Ville Close (Walled City) was fortified in the 14th century and altered two centuries later by the architect Sebastian de Vauban.  This walled vestige of medieval days on the Brittany coast sits in the middle of Concarneau’s harbor and is accessed by a drawbridge (on the right in the above photograph).

Traditional architecture home with local stone decoration in Ville Close (Walled City), Concarneau, France

Traditional architecture home with local stone decoration in Ville Close (Walled City), Concarneau, France

There is one main street through ViIle Close that is lined with shops, cafes, patisseries, and restaurants.  At the eastern end of Ville Close is Saint-Guenole Church, overlooking the harbor passage and the eastern side of the city.

Local stone facade of private home with personalized window boxes in Ville Close (Walled City), Concarneau, France

Local stone facade of private home with personalized window boxes in Ville Close (Walled City), Concarneau, France

Kouignettes (the special local pastries) at a patisserie (bakery) in Ville Close (Walled City), Concarneau, France

Kouignettes (the special local pastries) at a patisserie (bakery) in Ville Close (Walled City), Concarneau, France

At a patisserie (bakery) in Ville Close we discovered the local specialty pastry — kouignettes.  While you can find them in Paris, they originated in Brittany and are best here.  As another blogger described them, they are “sort of like a croissant in its layered goodness, only with fewer layers. It’s basically dough with a LOT of butter and sugar, caramelized so that they create a nice crusty layer over and in between the baked dough.” — http://parlezvousloco.com/2013/10/11/.  With all the butter and sugar, how could they not be tasty?  Of course we had to try several flavors…

La Porte au Vin Restaurant Creperie in Ville Close (Walled City), Concarneau, France

La Porte au Vin Restaurant Creperie in Ville Close (Walled City), Concarneau, France

One of several beaches on the coast on the west side of Centre Ville (City Center), Concarneau, France

One of several beaches on the coast on the west side of Centre Ville (City Center), Concarneau, France

The ramparts on the Ville Close (Walled CIty) provide walkers with excellent views of the port of Concarneau, France

The ramparts on the Ville Close (Walled CIty) provide walkers with excellent views of the port of Concarneau, France

 

 

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