Local gastronomy

Life is good in Marennes-Oléron. Quite apart from the beauty and variety of the scenery, this is a land rich in natural products and flavours…

The seafood is exceptional. Our oysters are of course the spearhead of local gastronomy being the only ones with the famed red label. The Marennes-Oléron oyster is the point of reference for all lovers of this unique delicacy.

The variety and quality of fish and shellfish are also an important part of our gastronomic heritage. Fishermen from La Cotinière, the major port of Charente-Maritime, bring back no fewer than 90 different species.

Mussels, whether inland or farther out to sea, are also sought after. They are perfect for the local recipe "églade", simple to cook and excellent to eat!

Ideally, you should taste our seafood with our excellent local wines. As an aperitif, the sweetish taste of Pineau is delicious and of course at the end of the meal, you should try a cognac or a cognac-based liqueur.*

Don’t forget our other local gastronomic produce – sea-salt, harvested on Oléron; "Les Naufrageurs" locally brewed beer; fruit and vegetables from our market gardens.

And just to whet your appetite, wander through the numerous markets of Marennes-Oléron, the best places to fill your shopping baskets. You may have the opportunity of bumping into members of the “Marennes-Oléron Produits Saveurs” association – winemakers, market-gardeners, oystermen or salt-farmers – their goal is to promote and sell the quality produce of Marennes-Oléron.

*Alcohol can be dangerous to your health so consume with moderation

The oysters

oysters marennes oleron
Enjoying the exceptional environment, favourable climate and age-old savoir-faire, the Marennes-Oléron oyster is the ambassador for the local cuisine.
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Fish and seefood

fish and seefood oleron marennes
Oléron Island is home to La Cotinière which is Charente-Maritime's leading fish and seafood harbour. In 2005 no less than 4800 tones of fish were unloaded on La Cotinière docks, which represents a 21 million euro sales turnover.
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Other specialities

salt oleron marennes
Made in a traditional brewery between Saint-Gilles and Chéray, "La bière des naufrageurs" is a preservative and colouring-free beer. Since 1995 this brewery has been making 18 kinds of beer ( lager, special lager, light and dark ales, stout and flavoured beers ). Like the northern and Belgian beers, these hight quality beverages have a great fermentation process. "La bière des Naufrageurs" has received two gold medals at the national beer contests of 2000 and 2006.
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Wine production

viticulture oleron marennes
The oldest traditional activity in Marennes-Oléron is wine production. It appeared as early as the end of the 3rd century. But it was during the 6th and 7th centuries that wine production really developed after the massive deforestations.
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Mussel farming

mussels oleron marennes
Mussel farming is thriving in Marennes-Oléron with 30 farms in the area. Around 1200 tons are produced each year. La moule de bouchot (pilings planted at sea) is the most widespread kind of mussel in Marennes-Oléron.
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markets oleron marennes
More than a place to shop for fresh groceries, a market is a wonderful opportunity to meet people and get insights on local life. Marennes-Oléron has numerous buzzing markets located either in the malls or on the streets. The stalls are full of high quality goods and the sellers are always a good source of information if you are wondering how to cook a particular fish or vegetable you have never tasted before.
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