The Marennes-Oléron basin has a very particular ecosystem which enables Marennes-Oléron oysters to develop in pools called claires (shallow former salt marshes).
Ile d’Oléron – Ville de Marennes, 27 communes au total.
Charentes Maritimes – Région Nouvelle Aquitaine
The Marennes-Oléron basin has a very particular ecosystem which enables Marennes-Oléron oysters to develop in pools called claires (shallow former salt marshes). Poitou-Charentes is the primary oyster-producing region under the official quality and origin certification. Marennes-Oléron oysters were awarded IGP (protected geographical indication) certification in February 2009.
The oysters are reared in a geographical zone covering 27 villages in Charente-Maritime. They are matured or reared in shallow beds for a period and at a maturation density which varies by season. These oysters are graded according to their fill rate and checked regularly by an independent national certification body.
How to open Marennes-Oléron oysters
‐ Right-handed: oyster in the left hand, hinge towards your wrist, hollow shell in your palm
‐ Left-handed: oyster in the right hand, hinge towards your wrist, hollow shell in your palm
‐ Thumb on the blade for safety
- Inserting the knife
‐ Right-handed: insert the knife around your middle finger (2/3 down the shell from the hinge)
‐ Left-handed: insert the knife around your little finger (2/3 down the shell from the hinge)
- Pushing the blade in
‐ Never force it
‐ Sever the muscle
‐ Lever it open with the blade
‐ Detach the flesh from the upper shell
‐ Drain out the ‘first water’ and the broken shell pieces once opened
‐ Reposition the flesh in the correct place
In 2016, France produced over 130 000 000 kg of oysters, the preferred seafood in France, which iss the biggest consumer of oysters in the world. They eat half of their production during Christmas!
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