First-class oysters from île d'Oléron

L'Oléronaise oysters: flavor and freshness

Our products

Oléron Oysters

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.

Oyster Farming

Raising Oysters in Charente-Maritime

Producing superior oysters takes three years from hatching to shucking.

“We spend three years moving our oysters to the choicest sea beds where food is most plentiful. To give them the best growing conditions during these three years, we keep giving them more room by lowering the density in each pouch and increasing the netting based on how big they get. Over this time, we are also constantly turning the pouches to harden the oyster shells and make them round. They spend these three years strengthening the muscle that keeps their shell closed as the tide flows in and out twice a day.” 

Cédric Massé

Summer Oysters

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. 

Oysters tasting

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.

“We can begin selling summer oysters in June. Rest assured that all of our oysters are raised like nature intended. Some oysters are born with either two or four chromosomes. By crossing these two species, we get one with three chromosomes that is called a triploid oyster. It’s sort of like crossing a mandarin with an orange to produce a clementine! These hybrid triploid oysters are as natural as they come.” 

Cédric Massé

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. 

“Our production methods create oysters that are hardy when they reach market-ready size. That means you get to enjoy them at their peak freshness, which is our pride and joy!” 

Jean-Michel Massé

Spat-to-Plate Production

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 oysters are certified and inspected by the quality inspection agency Bureau Veritas.

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.