Seafood of the Bay of the Somme, St Valery, Le Crotoy in north of France
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PickingHerbsSomme Bay
© Comdesimages

Somme Bay Delicacies

  • 2,500tonnes of bouchot mussels a year
  • 300seashore fishers
  • 5,000salt marsh sheep

Salt marsh lamb

The Estran trademark 

Salt marsh lamb is raised in the salt marshes, areas which are covered by the sea 6 to 8 times a year, during high tides.

An appellation guaranteeing the origin of salt marsh lamb was created in 2006. This is true recognition for an authentic product typical of Picardy.

The lambs love to feed on common saltmarsh-grass, which gives the meat its distinctive iodine flavour and pink hue.

It is only available from late June to mid-February. The "Estran" trademark used to market salt marsh lamb was registered in 1991.

moules, Somme©R Jacq_smbs-glp

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argousier, Somme©SommeTourisme
salicorne, Somme©SommeTourisme
salicornes, Somme©SommeTourisme
Gâteau battu, Somme©SommeTourisme

Bouchot mussels

and bay herbs 

Bouchot mussels are grown on large wooden poles, on the north Picardy coast between Quend and Saint-Quention-in-Tourmont, and between the Somme and Authie Bays.

14 mussel-growers produce 2,500 tonnes of mussels a year, keeping up the tradition of this typical bay product.

There are also over 300 seashore fishers. They alternately hunt for shellfish (such as hénons, little shellfish typical of Picardy with firm flesh) and shrimp, as well as gathering herbs growing in the bay.

The most famous of these is glasswort.

It can be harvested from late May to late September in Le Crotoy and Le Hourdel. Glasswort pickers may also pick sea asters, seepweed and other plants.


Seashore fishing is tolerated as a leisure activity outside the concessions. You may pick up to 500 g of glasswort per person a day and 5 kgs shellfish per person a day.

All the Picardy ingredients for gastronomic delight: salt marsh lamb, shellfish, fish and bay herbs!
conserverie saint christophe, Somme©SommeTourisme

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Safran de la Baie de Somme à Ponthoile©CRTC-Comdesimages
gateau à l'argousier © Anne-Sophie Flament

And other plants

roses of Picardy and sea buckthorn.

There's more to tickle those taste buds, such as products flavoured with Picardy roses growing in the Valloires gardens, sea buckthorn, rich in vitamin C, and the famous gateau battu, a rich, buttery brioche traditionally served at weddings.

The Terroirs de Picardie label lists all good Picardy produce and the boutiques that sell it.


Let's talk ToAnne Poupart

A saffron grower in the Somme Bay

"We set up in Ponthoille, on Romiotte farm, and we grow the most expensive of spices. I grow 100,000 bulbs, which flower in October. Flowering only lasts for a few days. In a single night, up to 15,000 of these delicate purple flowers can bloom. We harvest the pistils."