First-class oysters from île d'Oléron
L'Oléronaise oysters: flavor and freshness
Fine L’Oléronaise Oysters
Fine L’Oléronaise oysters are raised off the coast of the island of Ile d’Oléron. To keep the flavor of these oysters consistent all year round, we apply traditional practices to perfectly time the maturing phase with changes in the climate. Produced for general consumption, this variety is has a more pronounced iodine taste than the Fine d’Irlande species, and a meat yield of 10-12%.
Fine d’Irlande “Eire” Oysters
Depending on the season, Fine Eire oysters are brought in from bays in Ireland. They have a slight iodine and mineral flavor with a meat yield of 10-12%. They are grown for general consumption.
Île d'Oléron Oysters
Fine de Claire Marennes Oléron Oysters
Fine de Claire Marennes Oléron oysters are famous all over the world for their characteristic taste that can only come from this area’s terroir. They are matured for 28 days at a density of 3 kg/m2 (6.5 lbs/10.75 sq ft) in our clay ponds called claires, which are fed with seawater.
During this final growing stage, a naturally occurring microalgae called “blue navicula” may make their gills turn green. This stunning green tint is a sign of outstanding flavor.
Originelle de Jeanine
It took the great skill of our ancestors to create Originelle de Jeanine oysters. They are bred in clay ponds fed with seawater called claires for 4-6 months at a very low density of one or two oysters per m2 (10.75 sq ft). Because they are grown right on the sea floor, they acquire a very unique flavor of the terroir. A delight for oyster connoisseurs, this variety boasts a meat yield of 16-17%.
Oléron Spéciale Oysters
Spéciale « Comtesse »
Spéciale Comtesse oysters, or Countess Special in English, are somewhere between the Fine de Claire and Cuvée Prestige species. With a meat yield of 13-15%, this small special oyster is chewy and firm. It finishes with an almond flavor that tapers off into notes of iodine. This is a wonderful choice for anyone who wants to learn more about special oyster varieties.
Spéciale Cuvée Prestige
Spéciale Cuvée Prestige is one of our top-of-the-line oysters. This extra fleshy variety has a meat yield of 16-17% and originates in the very finest sea beds. It has a mouthfeel like no other. This surprisingly sweet, plump oyster has a very persistent flavorful finish. It is produced for the true oyster connoisseur.
Raising Oysters in Charente-Maritime
Producing superior oysters takes three years from hatching to shucking.
Summertime is when oyster lovers seek out small iodine-kissed oysters that expertly pair with bright, crisp wines. They also want to avoid the season’s typical milkiness.
This does not impact the oyster’s gene pool at all. Summer oysters are not GMO oysters—they’re actually a cross between two species.
Oléron Oysters are Hardy and Meaty
After three long years, the oysters are separated by size: No. 5 for the smallest and No. 2 for the largest.
Then they are put into shallow clay ponds called claires until they qualify for the Fine de Claire designation.
Oysters from the Massé Oyster Farm are spawned in January and market-ready three years later in September.
They are raised in Brittany for the first 18 months, and then finish growing for nine months in the Charente area.
Oyster spats are shipped to us from Ireland in February. After raising them for nine months, they are put on the market in October.
Dioxygen, Plankton and Lime
Like we said, we have to rotate the nets to craft a good oyster shell. Oysters become hardier year after year. Constantly turning over the net bags also keeps too much algae from forming. The key is to keep the water flowing. Oysters grow by getting ample room to breathe and feed on plankton.
A lot of mussels collect in the Marennes Oléron sea beds in May and June. This slows down the growth for oysters, so we have to continually turn over the net bags.
The more water we can get moving through the pouches, the more food the oysters can take in. That’s why we begin raising oysters in tight 4 mm net pouches. We then move them to pouches with larger openings as the oysters continue to grow.
Marennes Oléron Oyster Certifications
To qualify for the Marennes Oléron oyster certification, they must be raised on the French Atlantic coastline and be finished in claires in the Marennes Oléron Basin. This last stage is called maturing the oysters. They are also packaged in the same area.
Our two varieties Fine de Claire Verte and Pousse en Claire have received the Red Label.
Fine de Claire Verte oysters have a unique natural green tinge because they filter in a microalgae called “blue navicula.” Pousse en Claire oysters are a rarer species with a strong flavor that are matured for 4-8 months.