French oyster farming sites
French oyster farming sites
France is well known for its oysters and oyster farms. Below we offer a view of oyster farming in the country.
Normandy oysters, relatively fleshy and iodine-rich, are generally much appreciated by oyster lovers. The best known include the flavoursome and fleshy Isigny oyster and the Saint-Vaast oyster, sought-after for its nutty taste.
So-called "deep-sea oysters" are farmed on the west coast of the Cotentin peninsula where they enjoy pure seawater and develop their refined, iodised flavour.
North and South Brittany
The Brittany coasts have established a reputation for both cupped and flat oysters. The majority of France's flat oysters are farmed in Brittany.
The Cancale oyster has firm yet soft flesh and has a marked iodised aroma. Farmed in the shadow of Mont-Saint-Michel, it experiences some of the strongest tides in the world.
The Belon, a flat oyster renowned for its particularly delicate flavour, owes its name to the three Brittany estuaries in which it is farmed.
Without the determined efforts of several generations of men who have strived to master challenging conditions, oyster farming in the Baie de Bourgneuf would never have succeeded.
The Vendée-Atlantique oyster is produced in the Baie de Bourgneuf, at Bouin, on Noirmoutier Island, in the Baie de l'Aiguillon and at Pornic.
Vendée-Atlantique oysters are appreciated for their firm, crisp flesh.
It is the maturing process that characterises oysters farmed in the waters of Charente-Maritime. Marennes-Oléron oysters (the principal designation of oysters produced here) undergo a specific maturing process that gives them their distinctive marine qualities and a rich flavour that lasts well after it has been swallowed.
The flesh of " Fines de Claires " oysters presents a characteristic green tint. " Pousses en Claires " oysters are firm and crisp, with a pronounced specific "local" ﬂavour. The oysters of the Islands (ile de Ré and ile d'Oléron) offer ocean freshness.
The Arcachon basin is the leading breeding centre in France, supplying spat to the majority of France's oyster-farming basins.
Arcachon oysters boast some highly characteristic flavours. Consumers of Cap-Ferret oysters will enjoy their delicate and refreshing aromas of vegetables and citrus fruit. The île aux Oiseaux provides oysters laden with history, with plant and mineral aromas. Arcachon oysters owe their flavours to the quality of the plankton they consume.
The Mediterranean oyster is firm and tender. It has a slightly nutty flavour and fine, delicate flesh. Gruissan oysters are full of the taste of the open sea. With more space in which to develop, these oysters have access to more food. As a result, they have more flesh than other oysters.
The technique of gluing is widely used in the bassin de Thau. Since there are no tides in the Mediterranean, this technique consists in using cement to glue baby oysters, one by one, onto ropes and immersing them in water where they grow.