An event on the Côte Bleue
An oursinade refers to a large tasting of sea urchins and shellfish in several communes on the Côte Bleue, which stretches from the north of Marseille to Martigues. The most popular oursinade is that of Carry-le-Rouet, a port village located about 30 kilometres from the city of Marseille.
The adoration of sea urchins by the inhabitants of Carry-le-Rouet dates back to 1952, when the first sea urchin tasting was organised in the calanque du Cap Rousset in Provence. Jean-Baptiste Grimaldi, mayor of the commune, received his weight in sea urchins from the fishermen. Since this event, the sea urchin has obtained its title of nobility, which it will never lose.
From 1960 onwards, the mayor officially introduced the day of the sea urchin. It takes place in February, which is a good time because the sea urchins are at their fullest. The main objective was to make this tradition known to as many people as possible.
About ten years later, in the 1970s, the sea urchin festival was transformed into the ‘sea urchin month’. This popular festival takes place during the first three Sundays of February on the port of Carry-le-Rouet. Several stands welcome you with trays of freshly caught sea urchins and shellfish. Musical and dancing animations are also organised to celebrate the urchin festival. With family or friends, this is an opportunity to savour this seafood served on a platter while enjoying a friendly atmosphere.