Fishing at the Meze "Bouletchou" Festival

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On the occasion of its now traditional annual heritage festival, the City of Meze has organized a historical re-enactment of fishing at the "Bouletchou", a kind of fishing that has other names elsewhere but for which the principal stays the same on all our sandy coasts.
Leaving one end of a rope on the beach, the fishermen row out to sea far from the beach to stretch out a net, and then they return with the second end of the rope.  On shore, they combine their efforts to pull the net to ground.  The pocket at the end of the net works as a trap.
On the coast of Gruissan (Aude), some fisheries that lagged behind were using the force of more than 80 people with this method.
Today, this mode of fishing has disappeared but it did survive until the 1970s.  It isn't practiced anymore, other than on rare occasion for reenactments or isolated activities.
The whole Meze population still remembers the hard labour of these fishing families who for three months went to sleep on the neighbouring beaches to wait there for the fish.
The people who rose to the challenge at the festival were able enjoy an "enormous" Brasucade of 250 kg of mussels afterwards.

Le public ayant répondu présent a pu par la suite déguster une « énorme » brasucade (250 kg de moules).


The Brasucade or Marinade

The Mussels Brasucade is a tradition of the coast of Sète and on the whole perimeter of the Etang de Thau.
Its principle?  Cook the mussels in a big pan over a wood fire, basting them with a sauce for which each cook has his own recipe.  It is sometimes very hard to discover the composition of this marinade which often remains a family secret.
According to people who I was able to meet and appeal to, it turned out that one can use all these ingredients to make it:
olive oil, grated carrots, cloves of garlic, minced onions, thyme, bay leaf, cloves, harissa (a Maghrebi hot chili pepper paste), sweet pepper, herbs of Provence, nutmeg, white pepper, Cayenne pepper, cumin and ginger.... oof !
Everything is mixed in a big can and left to marinate for several days before using it on the mussels.
When you cook the mussels, don't forget to throw out the water the mussels were sitting in before adding this marinade.



Jean-Marc Roger/Janet Lee Clark‌