+44 (0) 20 3265 1052 or Email me
The great French comedian Fernandel retired to Carry-le-Rouet, a delightful resort 30 kilometres from Marseille, lying snugly beneath pine-covered hills. Carry-le-Rouet’s crystal-clear waters are the centre of a flourishing seafood industry, with prawns, oysters and crabs among the local catch.
However, the most sought-after delicacy in the large seafront market is echinoderm, better known as sea urchins, enjoyed in a feast called an oursinade. Their arrival is celebrated each February by a parade of brass bands and villagers on the last three Sundays of the month, a popular festival now in its fiftieth season.
The sea urchins are plentiful this year and can be eaten on their own, as the purists prefer. Most seaside bars serve them in a dish known as ‘plateau royal’ together with other local sea food, and lashings of lemon and vinegar to spice up the taste. In any case they are eaten alive, like oysters.