Honfleur Shrimp Festival
Shrimps taking over a French town? Doesn’t seem possible, does it? But when the beautiful harbour town of Honfleur in France holds the Fête de la Crevette, shrimps really do take over the town for a whole weekend.
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Honfleur Shrimp Festival
The Honfleur shrimp festival in 2019 is from the 5th and 6th October. It is a two-day homage to the humble, but very tasty morsels of seafood which abound on Honfleur’s shores.
During the festival the cobbled streets of this medieval port town, also famous for its artistic influence on impressionist painters, come alive with anything and everything to do with shrimps and a lot more besides.
Honfleur, is and always has been a French town of fishing. Stroll around the stalls set up on the harbour-side for the festival and you’ll be impressed, not only by the quantity and quality of the crevette grise, but by the size of the crabs and lobsters too.
Watch how fresh herring is smoked in the traditional way, in barrels covered with sackcloth and you’re bound to be tempted to try a fillet or even two alongside your shrimps.
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The colour and light of the Normandy region of France and especially Honfleur, has attracted artists from all over the world for centuries.
From the famous to the hobbyists, they’ve all tried to capture its special magic on their canvases. In celebration of that special interest, Honfleur hosts a painting competition during the weekend of the Fete de la Crevette.
The entries are exhibited, weather permitting, around the harbour along with some great handicrafts from local artisans.
You’ll be shouting ship ahoy if you’re down at the waterfront of the Vieux Bassin, the old harbour, in Honfleur. During the shrimp festival many of the old sailing rigs lay there at anchor with their sails unfurled to put on a stunning maritime exhibition.
If you hear some unusual sounds, it won’t be the squawking of the seagulls flying overhead, but something quite different.
Sea Shanty Sing-a-Long
If you’ve ever watched Pirates of the Caribbean then you’ll probably know a little about sea shanties. Yes, they’re those haunting tunes sung by sailors of old accompanied by the lilting music of a mouth organ or concertina.
When you’re in Honfleur, you’ll hear a few too. When local musicians take their positions on the decks of the rigs moored in the Vieux Bassin and belt out their renditions of the seafaring songs of old, the crowds gathered on the quay soon join in and so will you.
If you’re visiting south France in June you might enjoy some wine at the Bordeaux Wine Festival
There’s a lot of different ways to cook shrimps, including some which may not even have entered your head. You’ll find out all about this amazing culinary ingredient and other seafood, at the professional chef’s cooking demonstration at the shrimp festival.
Be on the Quai de quarantaine in the port when the chef knock out some fantastic dishes and you’ll get to sample them for free too.
By David McClenaghan, CSIRO
After a weekend in Honfleur, you’ll probably think you know everything there is to know about shrimps. The question is, can you peel them and if the answer is yes, then how fast?
Because to win the shrimp peeling competition, you’re going to have to strip the skins from as many as you can in just two minutes. It’s not as easy as it sounds, but if you do manage to outstrip the other competitors then you’ll win – a plate of peeled shrimps. Enjoy!
So Why The Honfluer Shrimp Festival?
Visiting Honfleur in the Normandy region of France will bring out your artistic streak.
Whether you’re an painter or a musician, when you see all of those delicious shrimp and whether you want to draw them or eat them, you’ll certainly be singing their praises. Come and have a bite at the Honfleur shrimp festival.