Archive for December 12th, 2021

December 12, 2021

The oysters of Sarzeau!!

In continuing finding gems in my picture vaults, I will tell you again about one of the seas wonderful edibles, the oysters, and more specific the oysters of the beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne! This time will tell you a bit more on the oysters of Sarzeau!! Bon appétit!!

Ok so let’s talk about something we do eat a lot here and especially around the season to be merrier into New Year; they are all over here so lucky me because I love them. However, I have chosen one area that we have been going since moving to the Morbihan dept 56 back in 2011. The oysters of the Rhuys peninsula by the town of Sarzeau!

The prime area is the Pointe de Bénance in the Gulf of Morbihan, in the town of Sarzeau. Located on the Rhuys peninsula, the Pointe de Bénance extends along the north-south axis. It is approximately 450 meters long and 200 meters wide. It is located north of the village of Bénance. It faces many islands in the Gulf of Morbihan, the Île des Œufs is 1,200 meters in the north-west, Penn Bleï is located 2,500 meters in the north-east and Île aux Oiseaux is 2 600 meters in the east.  Some of the wonders of our sea to try here fresh and from the real source are these favorites and one must out of the many here, really all over!.(see posts)

From our immersion in the area we have become quite knowledgeable on oysters (huîtres) which we love so let me give you a brief story on its cultivation.

The fertilization gives birth to a larva. For about twenty days, it evolves quietly in the water, gradually takes on the appearance of a “D” and acquires a kind of foot that will allow it to crawl to find the best place to settle. The larva becomes a spat, a baby oyster pampered particularly by oyster farmers for three years. The oyster will then go through all the breeding cycles before enthroned as queen on the seafood platters.  On the Rhuys peninsula, the oyster farms are located on the foreshore, the strip of coastline that is discovered at low tide. The influence of the tides thus regularly and naturally provides the plankton necessary for the growth of oysters. Breeding is practiced in different ways. On the ground: the oysters are directly “sown” on the sandy soil. Or on raised metal tables: the oysters are then protected from predators in mesh pockets. Oyster farmers access their parks aboard their barge, and, like sea gardeners, tirelessly rake the shells deposited on the ground or turn their pockets over and over again to avoid the proliferation of algae, aerate the oysters to give them a good size and nice shape.

The oyster then assumes its best attributes to be sold retail on the premises of farms or in markets. The oysters can then be kept for a short week, between 5 and 15 degrees in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator, flat, the curved part of the shell at the bottom. However, it is better to buy your hamper the same day as the tasting! The explosion of flavors is guaranteed! Yes indeed and we are so lucky to have this possibility here!!!  Ok following the local ritual of walks , not yet into the forest park walks but along the coast is gorgeous ,and then have a bushel of oysters with muscadet white wine sublime!! 

Some of the favorites here are La Nursery du Golfe; Oyster farming at 9 chemin Pointe Benance 56370 Sarzeau.  The Nursery du Golfe is the ideal place to savor these iodized flavors while discovering the secrets of oyster making! From the production of phytoplankton to spat, the aquaculture farm reveals to the curious the different stages of the nursery of the “pearls” of the region. In season, the tables overlooking the Gulf of Morbihan invite you to taste aperitif plates, for lunch or during storytelling evenings. The opportunity to discover the new range of creative products that the farm now produces, “Spiru Breizh”, 100% marine spirulina in seawater! webpage:

The Gulf of Morbihan tourist board on the nurserie du golfe:

sarzeau Ostréiculture pointe de benance E apr19

sarzeau Ostréiculture pointe de benance C apr19

EARL Benance Ets–Guillemette Michel ,Oyster farming at 4 chemin Pointe Benance 56370 Sarzeau. This one is straight producer right off the sea , smaller more family and just as good. A choice no webpage but  direct sale to individuals sublime: From Mondays to Fridays from 8h -12h and 13h30 to 17h. Tel +33 (0) 2 97 41 84 89.

sarzeau Ostréiculture pointe de benance B apr19

The whole area is full of awesome seafood of course and many more all over the place along the coast. However, we like to stick with the one we first like and continue the patronage , it is always appreciated. For other choices here is the Gulf of Morbihan tourist office on oysters!

And the city of Sarzeau on its history

There you go folks, another dandy goodness from the big sea closer to shore, nice!  You are all set for a wonderful sea nature and oysters of the Rhuys in Sarzeau a killer combination, recommended. Enjoy it as I do!!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

December 12, 2021

The oysters of Saint Philibert!!

Moving right along, to show the very nice living in my lovely Bretagne away from the bussle and huzzle of big cities, and right by the mighty Atlantic Ocean. I have several posts on nice pretty quant Saint Philibert but forgot to mention its oysters!!! And they are tops indeed. Therefore, here is my bit of contribution to the oysters of Saint Philibert!!

I am moving right along the coast in my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne,and my belle France. The town of Saint Philibert  is about 23 mins by car from my house! 

A bit more on the oysters, love them!!

By the time of the Roman Empire, Armorican (Brittany today) oysters were already one of the most popular dishes. These oysters, still wild, were intended for powerful and wealthy families in large cities. The beginnings of oyster farming are not precise, the first mention dates back to the 4C, when a poet of the time praised it in his writings. Modern oyster farming, began under Napoleon III, with the naturalist Victor Coste. The first local unions were created only during the interwar period, as were the first unions. In 1920, an epizootic destroyed 90% of the oyster population, then another again in the 1970s. A new variety originating in Japan had to be reintroduced into the bay to repopulate the parks of the region. Currently, the sector is strictly supervised. by regional, national and European legislation, which guarantees its sustainability.

Bretagne/Brittany was rewarded for its know-how at the general agricultural product category competition, which takes place each year during last year 2019 Agricultural Show in Paris (2020 cancelled due to the virus) , The region collected 129 medals, 33 more than last year (96) and thus moved up to first position in the ranking. So 41 gold medals, 50 silver and 38 bronze. Among the most awarded products: ciders, oysters, dairy products (butter and cheese), rillettes and pâtés, jam and even two medals for the punch! See the next Agriculture Fair in Paris 26 February to 6 March 2022!

One of the pleasures of summer in my lovely Bretagne is of course savoring seafood. And when you sit down to the table at the producer, it is the best way to consume good products while admiring the sea! A dozen oysters, a crab, periwinkles, all accompanied by buttered bread and a glass of chilled white wine for a toast, it’s heaven!!!!

Some of the best in the world are right here! These have been my suppliers and they are both good!! We passed by many oysters and mussels producers like those at Intrenn Passion at the corner of rue des presses and rue de l’océan; webpage:

A bit further the buying and tasting of oysters and mussels at Chez Jaouen is glorious,this is given a choice is my favorite tops; we come here often in season. webpage:

st philibert jaouen aquaculture seafood jun17

Further choices are in the city of Saint Philibert webpage:

This is a nice quant beach town and we love it. If you read my blog you know we come here for other shopping too like the great Breton biscuits and cakes, and canned seafood to spread on those glorious baguette tradition mind you! Here is a bit more from the Bay of Quiberon tourist office on Saint Philibert

There you go folks, feel better now to tell you a bit more of our culinary delights in our beautiful Morbihan, heavens on earth for the sea lover in us! Hope you enjoy the post and do try the Morbihan oysters found all over in the best restaurants of my belle France!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

December 12, 2021

The oysters of Locmariaquer!!!

I have several posts on the wonderful superbe goodies of my belle France. I have many posts on the wonders of the land/sea in my beautiful Morbihan and lovely Bretagne. Also, I have written before on Locmariaquer; however, have not tell you enough of the delicious oysters of Locmariaquer near me. This is the time to tell you about it; hope you enjoy the post as I.

I always enjoy telling you of my wonderful location in France, near the ocean but inland a bit to balance the best of the two.  I come to a familiar place so close with Locmariaquer only 28 mins from my house!  I have told you plenty on Locmariaquer in previous posts so will short and sassy into the oysters! But first where is Locmariaquer?

Locmariaquer is of course in my beautiful Morbihan located at the end of a peninsula stretching from north to south, subdivided into two tongues of land by the arm of the sea of the Saint-Philibert river and commanding the entry into the Gulf of Morbihan and into the Rivière d’Auray (river). The port of Locmariaquer is a former coastal fishing port dating from the beginning of the 20C. Located at the entrance to the Gulf of Morbihan, opposite Port-Navalo (see post) on the Rhuys peninsula,(see post) the port of Locmariaquer offers a panorama of the Gulf of Morbihan and the Auray river.


The history of oysters in Locmariaquer translated from the city hall!

Locmariaquer was then considered to be the birthplace of the flat oyster. The first concessions, in the Auray river, were issued in 1882. Three generations worked to build the flat oyster beds on the shore of Locmariaquer: He worked to remove the silt, replace it with sand, demarcate the sites. The work consisted of collecting the spat (oyster larvae) on collectors (limed tiles), taking it off (stripping) and sowing it in the parks for breeding for a period of three years during which it was necessary to protect oysters against predators, algae, storms. After 1927, Locmariaquer specialized mainly in reproduction and half-breeding. The oyster industry was then prosperous: 350 to 400 people worked “in the parks”. But, in 1973-1974, the flat oyster of the Gulf of Morbihan was decimated or even wiped out by two parasites. It was then that the culture of the Japanese hollow oyster “Crassostrea gigas” was introduced. Today, the Locmariaquérois oyster farmer has become a cupped oyster farmer in the gulf of Morbihan and the St Philibert river. The flat oyster is harvested and farmed mainly in the Bay of Quiberon. Despite mechanization tests, the workforce remains important, both in the culture itself and for the operations preceding the marketing (refining, grading, etc …) In 2011, about thirty oyster farms exist in Locmariaquer. They employ about fifty full-time people, to which should be added seasonal workers (from October to May). Each farmer is responsible for the sale of their production either to wholesalers, retailers or directly to consumers.

Locmariaquer le port et huitres sep12

The city of Locmariaquer on its oysters

Taken from the Kerpenhir oyster farmers and translated by yours truly.

It is traditionally said that you should not eat oysters in the months without R (May to August). It was king Louis XV who implemented this rule, in order to avoid poisoning due to transport when it is hot, and to preserve the resource, because oyster reproduction falls during this period. This practice has been diverted by hatcheries in order to market their genomically modified biotechnological oyster, the triploid. It is non-milky during the summer and marketed under the poetic name “oyster of the 4 seasons”. Indeed, in summer, the oyster is in milk. This is the phase in which the oyster is at its peak from a nutritional and organoleptic point of view.  Prefer a small caliber (N ° 4 or 5), a good swig of fresh lemon juice, a butter with salt crystals, good bread, and a glass of white wine. How delicious are these milky oysters! Now the size of the mollusk is not linked to its size, but to its weight, and the assigned number goes in the opposite direction to the size. The N ° 1 are the Very Big (TG), the N ° 2 the Grosses/big (L), the N ° 3 & 4 the Medium (M), the N ° 5 the Small (P). You weigh the closed oyster. Open it, then remove all the water, collect the drained flesh and weigh it. The quality index is calculated by taking the ratio of the drained weight of the oyster to its unopened gross weight. For fine oysters (fleshy oysters), it will be between 6.5 and 10.5%. For the special oyster (very fleshy oyster), it will be greater than 10.5%in volume.  If it takes an effort to open it up and water is flowing, it is alive and well. Sometimes the shell is damaged, there may then be a very slight smell of mud, the oyster is not bad either, run it under water. Sometimes the oyster has no water but does not smell bad, keep it and pour some open oyster water on it afterwards, it will cool it down. When ready to eat, if you pour in a little lemon juice or tickle the coat of the oyster with the tip of a knife, it should retract. The vegetable drawer is an interesting option in the long term to keep or transport the oysters. It is important to protect your oysters from light and bad weather. They should of course be laid out flat, hollow shell underneath, to prevent them from losing their water if they open slightly.



The oysters of Kerpenhir

And to boot, see our oyster farmers at the Salon de l’Agriculture in Paris, February 26 ›March 6, 2022 at Paris Expo – Porte de Versailles. The Locmariaquer Kerpenhir will be at stand 3G 120.  At the agricultural fair, Brittany is reaching out to you! Come and discover it or rediscover it in hall 3 in the Terres & Mers de Bretagne area !!!

The Salon de l’Agriculture or agriculture fair webpage :

I have to say we buy ours direct from Kerpenhir and sometimes we take our bushel in the Pluvigner market from Le Mouroux. The oysters Le Mouroux

For a kick to my other posts, this is the local Bay of Quiberon tourist office on Locmariaquer

There you go folks a bit on the gastronomy of my belle France and especially that of the best oysters of France, the Morbihan! Give it a go in your next restaurant visit in France and ask for Breton oysters of the Morbihan, simply delicious! Recommended by yours truly!! Hope you enjoy the post as I, of course::)

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!

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