The gastronomy of Sète

Sète, the singular island! A fishing port and a link between the Mediterranean Sea and the Etang de Thau, the town has much more to offer than its fine sandy beaches… discover its delicious crossbred culinary specialties!

An unusual gastronomy

Tielle sétoise

Imported from Italy at the end of the 19th century in the luggage of Italian emigrants, tielle is now an integral part of Sétoise cuisine.

This octopus pie cooked in a lightly spiced tomato sauce has become the culinary emblem of the town. It can be eaten as a starter or as a main course, accompanied by a salad and paired with a light red wine.


Less well known than tielle, macaroni is yet another Italian dish! It’s a pasta dish accompanied by beef brageoles (a kind of paupiette made of sausage meat and meat) simmered in a tomato and herb sauce…the recipes are family secrets!

Mussel brasucade

Brasucade is a typical dish from the shores of the Etang de Thau. The mussels are cooked in a large pan (similar to a paella pan) and drizzled with olive oil and garrigue herbs, with the addition of tomatoes and garlic depending on the recipe… a real delight, convivial and festive!

Zézette de Sète

This is the Sète pastry par excellence. The “zézette de Sète” is a small, dry, crunchy cookie made with flour, sugar, egg and olive oil.


Having taken a look at the specialities of Sète, here’s a recipe for stuffed mussels for 4 people:

Ingredients for the stuffed mussels

24 large mussels for stuffing

350 grams sausage meat or pork and beef stuffing

1 small bunch parsley

2 cloves garlic

2 eggs

1 slice country-style bread

salt and pepper

Ingredients for the sauce

500 grams tomato paste

20 centiliters dry white wine

1 onion

1 bouquet garni

For the aioli

1 slice bread

2 egg yolks

3 garlic cloves

25 centilitre olive oil

salt and pepper

Preparing the stuffed mussels

Start by soaking the stale bread in water until it swells. Once wrung out, the bread will be used to lighten the stuffing.

Finely chop the garlic and parsley.

In a large bowl, combine the chopped garlic and parsley with the wrung-out bread. Add the eggs and mix until smooth.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To prepare the mussels, gently open them by rotating them a quarter-turn without breaking the hinge. This will prevent the molds from opening during cooking.

Fill each mussel with a portion of stuffing and arrange carefully in a Dutch oven.

Prepare the sauce

In a saucepan, sauté the onions and garlic until lightly browned.

Add the tomato paste to the pan and sauté with the onions and garlic for a few moments.

Pour the white wine into the pan and simmer for a few more minutes.

Add the sauce prepared with the stuffed mussels to the pot. Simmer for around twenty minutes, watching the sauce reduce. If necessary, add a little water to obtain a medium-thick consistency.

For the aioli, start by finely crushing the garlic in a mortar or pestle.

Soak the bread in water and squeeze out any excess liquid. Add the bread to the crushed garlic and mix thoroughly. Add the egg yolks and salt and pepper to taste.

Finally, whip up the sauce by drizzling in the olive oil until you obtain a mayonnaise-like consistency.

Enjoy your meal!