Oyster farming in Marennes Oléron

During your camping stay in the Marennes Oléron Basin, you will have many opportunities to taste the famous Oleron oyster, but also to meet the oyster farmers and discover their trade and know-how. In the meantime, Camping Airotel Oléron tells you more about the pearl of oysters!îtres !

A short overview of the Marennes-Oléron basin

At the heart of a unique ecosystem in France, the Marennes-Oléron basin, the largest oyster farming basin in Europe, extends over 3000 hectares between La Seudre and the Ile d'Oléron, passing through Bourcefranc-Le-Chapus and Port des Barques. The oyster farming activity of Marennes-Oléron was born in the 19th century when the saliculture is in decline. The maturing ponds replaced the salt marshes and small colourful oyster huts began to bloom in numbers on the edge of the channels. This is the beginning of the crazy story of the Marennes Oléron oyster!

Refining oyster beds, a unique practice in the world specific to Marennes Oléron!

The oysters of Marennes-Oléron are matured in the claires, former salt marshes that have been reconverted. These shallow basins dug into the sediment by man are very rich in nutrients and phytoplankton. It is in these ideal farming conditions and this preserved natural environment that the Marennes-Oléron oyster acquires its incomparable flavour!

But by the way, what does the Marennes-Oleron oyster taste like?

The maturing in claires gives Marennes-Oleron oysters a less oceanic taste than open sea oysters. The Fines de Claire, not very fleshy, rich in water and balanced in flavours, deliver a slight note of hazelnut. Les Spéciales de Claire have a firmer and more consistent flesh, but also a more pronounced taste and a salty flavour attenuated by a slight sweetness.

One IGP and two Label Rouge for Marennes-Oléron oysters!

The Fine de Claire Verte was the first seafood product to be stamped Label Rouge in France (1989). La Pousse en Claire has had the same label since 1999. In 2009, the appellation "Huîtres Marennes Oléron" became a Protected Geographical Indication!

Discover oysters and the oyster farming profession

If you want to know everything about the Marennes-Oleron oyster, the best way is to visit the Oyster City located on the channel of La Cayenne in Marennes. You can also embark with the oyster farmers of the Marennes Oléron area and observe the professionals at work in the oyster beds.

Did you know that?

  • It takes 2 years to bring an oyster to maturity and for it to acquire its famous refined taste.
  • Oysters are very good for your health and an excellent source of protein and omega (a dozen oysters can replace meat or fish).
  • Summer and winter alike, oysters can be eaten all year round!
  • Oysters can be cooked hot (with candied pepper and bacon; peanuts, honey and soy sauce or kiwi, ginger and coconut milk). So many recipes to experiment with!


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