The oysters

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

A multitude of oyster farms are present in the region especially on the Atlantic Coast around Marennes, in the Seudres Valley and on Oléron Island. Of a very high quality, the Marennes-Oléron oyster is the only Red Label oyster in France. The Marennes-Oléron oyster has been sought after for a very long time. In the region, the first oyster parks appeared around 1850. They originally produced the flat oyster and then later, the cupped oyster.. Their distinctive green colour is due to the presence of a microscopic blue seaweed.

Oysters usually mature by in four years. During the first year they are left to grow in the sea. The following year, in order to benefit from the best conditions, they are moved around several times in the breeding parks, according to the currents and tides. The ultimate stage is the "affinage en claire". This is the refining process. At this stage they are placed in what were once marshes. Oysters remain in the "claire" where fresh and sea water blend together for one to three months. The end result are oysters with a delectable taste that is world renowned.

Oysters are rich in minerals, proteins and vitamin A, so they are excellent for your health. Marennes-Oléron is Europe's most prominent oyster production area with 40000 acres of parks and claires. These produce 45 to 60000 tons every year for a world wide market.

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