This product is readily available in supermarkets, on markets and in fishmongers.
Bouchot mussels are the first and only French product to be registered as a TSG (Traditional Speciality Guaranteed) at a European level, on 6th May, 2013. This quality label highlights the traditional production method used that make them so special. These mussels are cultivated along a large part of the Atlantic and Channel coastline on lines of wooden posts known as ‘bouchots’ a contraction of ‘bout choat’ (meaning wooden fence).
According to legend, the first mussels were cultivated in 1235 by an Irish sailor named Patrick Walton who was shipwrecked in the bay of Aiguillon. Trying to catch birds, he set up nets stretched over poles. Mussels attached themselves onto the wooden stakes and began to grow. The bouchot technique was created.
The main distinction is to avoid contact with the ground, sand or any other parasite (such as crabs). In addition, by alternating the periods that the mussels emerge and are then submerged in line with the tides, enables them to develop their delicately iodised flavour.