October 13 was a lovely sunny day as 19 of us gathered at the marine supplies shop in Blainville-sur-Mer to spend a morning learning about the production of oysters.
Our guide was Claude, who was a mine of knowledge, not just on what happens to today, but also on the history.
He explained how oysters were first transported from Normandy to Rome, with an ingenious network of staging points where the oysters could be kept alive in pools. He brought us up to date, via the Greeks and Louis XV, to the present day and the intensive and innovative production methods. By this time the sunny day had become accompanied by a keen breeze, and we were all a little relieved to hear that we were going indoors.
We headed into the workshops, where we saw how the oysters are stored, cleaned and sorted. This was followed by perhaps the highlight of the visit – a chance for a dégustation! The oysters just kept on coming – and as they were absolutely fresh they were also absolutely delicious – and the accompanying Muscadet made things just perfect. A lovely visit – many thanks to Chris for the organisation and to her and Caroline for the excellent job they did of interpreting Claude’s presentation.