A Night of Moules-Frites at Le Fireman, Le Touquet

I had always wanted to try mussels with French fries every time I go to the North of France. Alas it seemed to be that it was never the season whenever I was there. Finally, the we recently had dinner in a bistrot  called Le Fireman in Le Touquet. They served moules-frites so I jumped at the chance!

Mr. H. had often talked about the moules frites from the North of France, so I simply assumed that they were originally from there. Then my friend Sunny, who lives in Belgium, told me that they are originally from Belgium. I looked it up in Wikipedia and she’s right. But then the North of France touches the Belgian border and is like Belgium in many ways anyway.

The mussels we had were bouchot mussels. I didn’t know what these were. Mr. H. explained that they are mussels grown on wooden posts by the sea. the bouchot system makes barnacle free, grit free muscles which are also meatier and better in flavour. He reminded me that I made some photos of some bouchots last year when we were visiting a Northern French seaside village. I’ve dug around my photos and here they are. I think these bouchots aren’t in use anymore, as they would be taller and better maintained.

Bouchot

Northern french beach

What did we accompany the moules-frites with? Start of with some Belgian beer of course and then a glass of white wine.

Moules frites

Mussels with French Fries

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30 Comments

  1. Sunny 2014-08-15 at 14:26

    Haha thanks for the shout-out! I’m so glad you can now cross another item on your food bucket list! You should hop across the border again so we can eat this here. The Belgians really know their fries!

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-08-15 at 16:19

      Hey no problems 🙂 I’l love to hop acroos the border again and eat this or something else with fries with you!

      Reply
  2. Sue 2014-08-15 at 15:58

    Such beautiful photographs, Sofia! I take it you got your camera kinks worked out? I must admit I often feel like I have to have certain foods in certain places, but mussels . . . well, I don’t really understand them . . . I like the broth but not the actual little “meat” inside the shell. Anyhow, lovely!

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-08-15 at 16:21

      Hi Sue! The mussels photos were taken with my iphone and the beach ones were from last year. My camera isn’t showing signs of improvement 🙁 I’m still in France but I plan to visit a camera shop in Barcelona and see what they have to say. I wrote to Fujifilm a few days ago querying about it and received no answer so I’m not happy with that at all… xx

      Reply
      1. Sue 2014-08-15 at 16:25

        Sofia, contact B & H Photo as soon as you can. Just google them; you can call or do an online chat; they are the most knowledgeable, helpful, friendly folks and consummate pros . . . a very well known company based out of New York. They are a group of orthodox Jews take their business very seriously and are just so helpful even if you are not buying anything from them.

        Reply
        1. Sofia 2014-08-15 at 16:28

          Thanks for the advice, I will do! 🙂

          Reply
  3. Ngan R. 2014-08-15 at 16:50

    I had no idea moules were grown on bouchots! So interesting! I love moules frites and have only had them in Northern France and in French restaurants I trust in the states a few times. Remembering how good they were is making me hungry!

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-08-15 at 19:20

      Lovely! When did you visit Northern France?

      Reply
      1. Ngan R. 2014-08-15 at 20:04

        About ten years ago. I loved visiting the coast and all the battle sites, and then we spent a few days in Belgium, too. Had I known moules frites were invented there, I would have had them there too!

        Reply
        1. Sofia 2014-08-15 at 20:16

          Thats great to hear. I haven’t formally visited the battle sites, but they are everywhere and Mr H tells me about them when we drive past. We went over the border to Belgium and stopped at the Waterloo battle site, that really was impressive. The North of France has lots of Belgian influences with food so I guess the moules are the same 😉 xx

          Reply
  4. Divya 2014-08-15 at 20:24

    The food is making me so hungry! I have had really good mussels in South Korea.. and then the only other time in Barcelona last month. The flavors were so so different obviously.. I’d love to try some of the French version!

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-08-16 at 19:36

      Hi Divya, The French version are smaller but tastier than the Barcelona version (I don’t know about the South Korean version, now that sounds interesting!). I live in Barcelona, if you go back there you can give me a shout and I could recommend nice places 🙂

      Reply
      1. Divya 2014-08-16 at 19:41

        I know! I found out you were from Barcelona! Wish I knew you earlier! 🙂 We are definitely coming back!! Both my husband and I loved it so so much! I am going to let you know when we do 🙂 Thanks so much! and the Korean version was very very tasty.. but things are mostly made with broth so they taste much different 🙂 We had mussels with paella mostly when we were in Spain 🙂

        Reply
        1. Sofia 2014-08-17 at 17:27

          I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂 Let me know next time… I wonder if I’ll ever have an opportunity to try the Korean version 😉

          Reply
  5. Amanda 2014-08-15 at 21:15

    Beautiful. I love mussels! Sounds like you’re having a wonderful time.

    Reply
  6. Helen @ Scrummy Lane 2014-08-16 at 02:09

    Sofia, moules-frites are my favourite. When they’re cooked well, they’re just divine. Nothing better! I didn’t know they were Belgian … well, fancy that!

    Reply
  7. Liz 2014-08-16 at 05:44

    yay–so glad you’re checking these off your list 🙂 Looks amazing.

    Reply
  8. pianolearner 2014-08-16 at 18:52

    one of my favourite seafood. I like them cooked in cider.

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-08-16 at 19:36

      Cooked in cider sounds yummy!

      Reply
  9. Dalo 2013 2014-08-16 at 20:20

    Great photos…incredible that they came from your iPhone. Pulling Mussels From A Shell, one of my favorites 🙂

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-08-18 at 00:28

      Yes, the iphone camera is quite incredible. By the way, an update on my camera: tonight I played around making the shutter speed abnormally low (sort of to compensate) and it seems to work better. Lets see how that trick works later on in bright daylight…

      Reply
  10. Bunny Eats Design 2014-08-16 at 22:16

    We have great big mussels here in NZ but almost always served with bread to mop up the tasty broth. While I love fries, they are not such good mops are they?

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-08-18 at 00:28

      You’re right, bread are better mops. But the fries are fun 🙂

      Reply
  11. Pemberley Cup & Cakes by Rosa 2014-08-17 at 09:33

    Es cierto; los mejores moules frites que he probado han sido durante un viaje a Bruselas y otro a Saint-Malo en el norte de Francia. Espero que ya haya ido a esta ciudad o planees ir, porque simplemente es una preciosidad, lo mismo que le Mont Saint-Michel!
    Ahora me comería una fuente entera (y no son ni las 10:00 am!

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-08-18 at 00:29

      He estado a lado de Bruselas en estas vacaciones, y a Sant Malo aun no aunque he conocido a gente de alli. Has estado alli pues? Parece precioso! Te acompaño en la fuente 😉

      Reply
  12. Patty Nguyen 2014-08-18 at 02:04

    Lucky you, Sofia! I finally have some time to catch up on WP today. Yay!

    Reply
  13. Guillermina Stover 2014-08-18 at 19:18

    Beautiful photos, as usual, and evocative memories of food AND place. My husband absolutely loves mussels! I prepared them for him, simply and elegantly, when we lived in Spain…

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-08-19 at 11:19

      I like how you say it, simply and elegantly 🙂 Sounds lovely indeed with some white wine..

      Reply

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