Oyster

Crassostrea Gigas

The oyster is a bivalve mollusc with a soft body protected by 2 shells; living on a hard substrate, this hermetic protection is essential to its survival. It feeds by filtering seawater and extracting microalgae called phytoplankton.

Oyster farming takes 2 to 4 years for them to reach the market size of 30 grams. In France, hollow and flat oysters are marketed and can be sold certified according to their place of production - for example: PGI (protected geographical indication) or for a particular taste: Label Rouge.

In summer, oysters that are hermaphrodites (sex changes according to the seasons to ensure their survival) will reproduce. After a few weeks of drifting with the currents, the oyster larvae develops and attaches itself to a support. When the larva is hooked, it turns into the spat.

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Les caractéristiques

Robe
  • Bivalve: 2 shells
  • Elongated shape
Palais
  • Raw with shallot vinegar or lemon
  • Cooked: gratinated, fried, steamed (no more than 5 minutes!)
Chair
  • Low in fat
  • Rich in glycogen, calcium, trace elements and vitamins

Saisonnalité

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Oysters are consumed during the "R" months while from May to August they are in a period of replication called "milky". Ifremer, the French research institute for the exploitation of the sea, created a sterile oyster "triploid " in the 2000s. For a tasting of slightly milky oysters all year round, some oyster farmers produce this type of oyster. To date, there is no legal requirement to differentiate between diploid and triploid oysters on the label.
Découvrez le calendrier des saisons

Dans l'assiette

Oysters can be eaten raw or cooked ,and seasoned according to your taste. Amateurs love them naturally to preserve their original iodine flavour.

Just before eating it, it is important to make sure that the oyster is alive. The shell must be closed and once opened, it must react to any external stimulation. It is possible to store them, closed large shell down, between 5 and 15 °C, for 1 week to 10 days.

Depending on their weight, there are differents sizes. The smaller the rate, the bigger the oyster:

  • N° 0more than 150 g
  • N° 1 from 121 to 150 g
  • N° 2from 86 to 110 g
  • N° 3from 66 to 85 g
  • N° 4from 46 to 65 g
  • N° 5from 30 to 45 g

© Crédit photo : Alexandre Willaume - Chef of the Culinary Restaurant Bazaar

zones de pêche

France is the leading producer and consumer of hollow oysters in Europe.
There are different French oyster farming basins: Normandy - Brittany - Vendée, Aquitaine, Charente-maritime and Mediterranean.
From one production site to another, the taste characteristics are specific (fleshy, crunchy, hazelnut/wooden/iodinated taste).
In the Charente basin, maturing in clear oyster beds (clay tanks) allows oysters to acquire a "marine land" flavour and a green colour in a few months.


Techniques de pêche


There aredifferent techniques for raising oysters depending on the environmental parameters, the characteristics of the foreshore (part of the coast met by the tide), the type of oyster, the oyster basins available...

Raising oysters on elevated tables is the most common technique. It is practiced in Brittany, Normandy and on the Atlantic coast. . Oysters will grow in oyster bags that are distributed on tables by the sea on the foreshore. They benefit from tidal variations.

In areas where there isno tide, suspended farming makes it possible to keep shellfish in permanent immersion while they are hung on a table. In the case of deep-sea farming,oysters are immersed in cages.

At the end of the development cycle and before marketing, oysters can be transferred to oyster beds.. They will spend a few weeks in these clay basins to acquire a unique taste specific to those environments.Oysters are called clear, thin of clear, refined....


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