Oleron and oysters

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Famous for its exceptional quality, the Marennes-Oléron oyster is a top-of-the-range seafood product appreciated by gourmets. They are distinguished by their delicately salty flavour and distinctive green colour. Marennes-Oléron is Europe's leading oyster-growing area, selling 45 to 60,000 tonnes of oysters a year.

This is how the oyster farmers of the Marennes-Oléron basin produce this delicious shellfish over several years:


In early summer, each oyster lays between 1 and 3 million larvae; only a few dozen of these are deposited on collectors. Eight months later, the young oysters are 200 times larger, so some have to be removed to encourage the others to grow: this is called thinning.


The oysters, now aged between 18 and 24 months, are detached (separated from their support) and the best ones are placed in mesh bags on iron tables in the oyster beds for one or two more years.

Maturing in oyster beds

The oysters are placed in shallow basins (claires) supplied with seawater. The typical colour of the Marennes-Oléron oyster is due to an algae: the blue navicula.