Where to taste oysters in Paris
The oyster season (the time when they are readily available and taste great) lasts from September to April. Gourmets, however, are accustomed to expect October, when refined and tasty varieties appear on the menu. This is due to the fact that summer is a great time for small mollusks to gain weight, and there are fewer problems with bacterial infections in the winter and autumn. The French adore oysters. And just the peak of the use of this delicacy falls on the celebration of the New Year and Christmas. Therefore, going to France in the fall, be sure to try this delicious delicacy!
Oysters are classified by size. When purchasing this delicacy, pay attention to the number from 0 to 5 for volume oysters and from 0 to 6 for oysters with a flat shell.
And now a little more detailed.
fines – medium sized oysters
spéciales are slightly larger oysters and fresher than fines
fines de Claires are fines oysters that spent two months in Marennes-Oléron filtering clean water through their juicy bodies. The density per square meter of them is quite high – up to 20 pieces.
Spéciales de Claires are oysters that ripened in Marennes-Oléron for two months too, but they had more space than fines de Claires.
Pousse en Claires – considered a low density oyster (5 oysters per square meter). These heavy oysters are grown in special pools for four months. They grow sweet and fleshy.
We taste the countries: read here about Spain
Like a bouquet of wine, the taste and texture of oysters is deeply dependent on the place of cultivation. After all, each pond has its own characteristics: different mineral composition, intensity of the ebb and flow, temperature, salinity. All this affects the taste of oysters, due to the fact that these animals are filtrators. The taste will change from season to season every year in any place due to the fact that neither flora and fauna, nor the frequency of rainfall can remain constant.
Aquitaine: Arcachon is a famous bay in the southwest near Bordeaux, where oysters live in a natural environment. Farmers put red bricks in the water. Oyster young animals in the breeding season capture stones from all sides. Then people collect such a catch and place them in deeper bodies of water, where the oysters are fattened and grow to the desired size. Sometimes the flesh of mollusks acquires a green hue due to algae.
Normandy: Northwest is famous for its deep-sea oysters off the coast of the Cotenin Peninsula, a delicacy with Isigny and walnut oysters with Saint-Vaast. Sweet oysters can be enjoyed off the coast of Utah Beach.
Brittany: here you will find oysters with a flat shell, which are usually grown on the local coast. Tourists are offered to taste the following varieties: Cancale (branded, salted), Paimpol (juicy and meaty, grown on deep-water farms), Belon (the famous oysters from the same mouth in South Brittany, which ripen in brackish water). Try large clams in Saint-Brieuc, Morlaix and Brest Bay.
West Coast: Ile de Ré, Noirmoutier, Baie de Bourgneuf, Pornic, and Beauvoir-sur-Mer are places for growing small but tasty oysters.
Languedoc: Bouzigue is marked as a place with extremely clear water, so that delicious shellfish can be consumed right on the spot.
Marennes-Oléron: taste the oyster Ile d’Oléron, as well as Charente from special ponds. These oysters ripen in special cleaning pools. Sometimes blue-green algae from the surrounding waters give the flesh of the mollusk an unusual shade.
How to enjoy a delicacy
Oysters are almost never washed (to preserve a unique taste), they are often opened right before use and always placed on ice. In France, as a rule, mollusks are served without cutting the adductor muscle, due to which the animal attaches to the shell. This is believed to keep oysters fresh longer. Take a special fork and gently separate the pulp from the shell. Add lemon juice or oyster sauce, or discard all seasonings and swallow this delicacy in one sitting!
Where to taste the most delicious oysters in Paris?
Le Baron Rouge – Bar supplies oysters from Brittany. The place has a very unusual design, so you will never forget your first oyster in this place!
Le Mary Celeste – Good cocktails, great wine, and wild oysters, served with a slightly spicy Asian sauce. During the season, you can get on happy hours when oysters cost 1 € each.
La Cabane à Huitres – Francis Duburg grows oysters in special reservoirs and then brings them to this place. You should definitely try these refreshing clams.