History of oysters from the Oleron basin
Their presence has been recognised since antiquity, reproducing abundantly on the wild shoals of the Charente coast. They were collected as and when needed.
It was from the 18th century onwards that man had the idea of breeding them in parks set up at the time in the abandoned salt marshes. But the development of oyster farming as we know it only took place from the 19th century when Napoleon III laid the foundations for the reorganisation of the maritime domain. The technique of liming for the collection of oysters was then introduced in the oyster farms.
With the advent of the railway, production was able to be transported more easily to supply the Parisian salons, as the wealthy classes were then the main consumers of oysters.
Huitres Marennes, they are unique!
Originally, the Oleron oyster was flat. After a shipwreck, a cargo of damaged Portuguese oysters was thrown into the sea. They acclimatised so well that they proliferated all along the Charente coast. In 1920, an epidemic (epizootic) decimated the green marl oysters and the Portuguese oyster, which grew faster and was easier to raise than the flat oyster, caused production to take off spectacularly. In the meantime the oyster had become a common consumer product accessible to the entire population.
A new epidemic hit the basin in 1970.
It was then the Japanese oyster that took over production in the Charente.
Tasting the Marennes d'Oleron oysters
There are 5 different breeds in this vast basin. The Fine de Claire, the Green Fine de Claire, the Special de Claire, the Pousse en Claire and the hollow oyster. Each of these breeds has its own characteristics and taste properties. The surrounding restaurants will be proud to offer you plates of fresh oysters from Marennes-Oléron for the delight of gourmets.
Purists believe that oysters eaten raw are eaten plain, without any accompaniment. However, they are often eaten accompanied by a drizzle of lemon juice or shallot vinegar, with a slice of rye bread or fig bread lightly buttered... Nothing more so as not to distort the taste. To enjoy the tasting even better, accompany your oysters with a fresh white wine ...
During your stay in a mobile home or campsite in Charente Maritime, take advantage of this geographical proximity to go to Marennes-Oléron and discover the different varieties of oysters.
Don't hesitate to visit the Marennes-Oléron oysters website for more details.
Marennes Oleron oysters in Charente Maritime