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The art of tasting seafood in La Rochelle

Dégustation de fruits de mer dans une assiette
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Charente-Maritime oysters, bouchot mussels, shellfish and crustaceans: savour seafood during your getaway to La Rochelle! Give in to the temptation of fabulous seafood to get your fill of salt air and vitamins.

Tasting oysters in La Rochelle

An essential culinary speciality of Charente-Maritime, oysters remain an exceptional dish to savour in winter. On the market stalls, in the restaurant or in an oyster bar overlooking the sea, give in to the temptation of an oyster tasting in La Rochelle!

Bacs à huîtres
Les Conteurs
Charente-Maritime oysters

The Charente Maritime oyster, a product of true character

A true gourmet brand, the Charente Maritime Oyster or "HCM Oyster" is a unique product born out of ancestral know-how. It’s cultivated at sea over more than 2,500 hectares of oyster beds that stretch away from La Rochelle between the islands of Ré, Aix and Oléron. Did you know that two to three years of growing are required before you can taste an oyster from the open sea?

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How to taste an oyster, or cook it? Check out all our tips to become an oyster expert in La Rochelle!

The oyster-farming landscapes around La Rochelle

Why not take the opportunity to discover the oyster-farming sites near La Rochelle? Take time to contemplate the charm and authenticity of the small traditional ports of the La Rochelle urban area :

  • At low tide, a stroll through the small port of Plomb in l’Houmeau promises an unobstructed view of the oyster beds of Île de Ré, where you can watch the comings and goings of the oyster barges.
  • Surrounded by nets, the port of La Pelle in Marsilly remains an authentic place to buy oysters direct from the producer or taste them facing the sea.
  • The path going from the port of Loiron in Angoulins to Aytré Beach has a picturesque atmosphere with its small huts that bear witness to the old oyster farming activity. 
Marais ostreicoles vu du ciel
Loic Lagarde
Les Boucholeurs

Where can you find an oyster farmer in La Rochelle with an oyster tasting hut?

Give in to the temptation of an oyster tasting direct from the producer. From Aiguillon Bay to Yves Bay, you can find various oyster establishments with tasting huts.

Feast on bouchot mussels

Mussel season is in the summer! A family dish par excellence, mussels will delight the taste buds of young and old alike. Moules marinière, in mouclade, with or without chips or cooked in their shell – they can be enjoyed in a thousand and one different ways! But one thing is certain: here, people eat locally by choosing mussels from La Rochelle.

Enfant dégustant des moules à La Rochelle
Destination Côte Atlantique © Farid Makhlouf
Moules La Rochelle

Bouchot mussel – what’s that?

The bouchot mussel takes its name from the wooden stakes planted on the foreshore used to grow them. This traditional breeding method consists of collecting the spat on hemp ropes which are then wrapped around the famous bouchots (mussel posts). The mussels grow there within a year, from winter to the following spring. That means they’re ready to be enjoyed at the start of summer.

Pieux Moules de Bouchots et mouette
Fred Le Lan
Bateau Mytiliculteur parmi les Bouchots
Fred Le Lan
Mytiliculteurs au travail
Fred Le Lan

La Charron, an exceptional mussel 

It’s north of La Rochelle in the Aiguillon Bay, at the confluence of the salty waters of the Atlantic and the fresh waters of the Poitevin marsh, that an exceptional mussel called "La Charron" is cultivated. Only the towns of Marsilly, Esnandes, Charron (La Rochelle Agglomeration) and Aiguillon-sur-Mer in Vendée are entitled to use the appellation.

Museum Maison de la Baie du Marais Poitevin

Maison de la Baie du Marais Poitevin

Nestled between the Marais Poitevin and the Baie de l'Aiguillon, the Maison de la Baie du Marais Poitevin invites you to discover the Mussel Museum and the fortified church of Esnandes.
Esnandes See on the map
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A nature walk through the heart of mussel farming tradition between Esnandes and Marsilly

You can also follow a Terra Aventura route in La Rochelle: "À la cache aux moules". Located in the village of Boucholeurs in Châtelaillon-Plage, this hour-long walk promises a joyful 3 km outing.

Savour a seafood platter

While the oyster remains one of the flagship shellfish on a seafood platter, its composition depends on both the season and the arrival of shellfish at the auction. 

Plateau de fruits de mer
Sophie Nogues
Plateau de fruits de mer La Rochelle

The shellfish of the La Rochelle coastline

Winter is the season for cockles, periwinkles, scallops and clams. These delicious shellfish will also appeal to shore fishing enthusiasts. The unmissable whelk on the seafood platter is eaten almost all year round. 

To each his own style

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